The Payment Cards Center provides meaningful insights into developments in consumer credit and payments that are of interest not only to the Federal Reserve but also to the industry, other businesses, academia, policymakers, and the public at large. The center carries out its work through an agenda of research and analysis as well as forums and conferences that encourage dialogue incorporating industry, academic, and public-sector perspectives.
To listen to podcasts about the history and evolution of the Payment Cards Center, visit our podcasts page.
For information on all research on consumer credit and payments, go to our Program in Consumer Credit & Payments page.
Working Paper Released: Where Do Students Go When For-Profit Colleges Lose Federal Aid?
Recent federal investigations and new regulations have resulted in restrictions on for-profit institutions' access to federal student aid. The authors examine the enrollment effects of similar restrictions imposed on over 1,200 for-profit colleges in the 1990s. Using variation in regulations linked to student loan default rates, the authors estimate the impact of the loss of federal aid on the enrollment of Pell Grant recipients in sanctioned institutions and their local competitors. Enrollment in a sanctioned for-profit college declines by 53 percent in the five years following a sanction. For-profit sanctions result in negative spillovers on unsanctioned competitor for-profit colleges in the same county, which experience modest enrollment declines. These enrollment losses in the for-profit sector are offset by gains in enrollment in local community colleges, suggesting that the loss of federal student aid for poor-performing for-profit colleges does not reduce overall college-going but instead shifts students across higher education sectors. Finally, the authors provide suggestive evidence that students induced to enroll in community colleges following a for-profit competitor’s sanction are less likely to default on their federal loans.
Conference Summary Released: New Perspectives on Consumer Behavior in Credit and Payments Markets
On October 1–2, 2015, the Payment Cards Center and the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia hosted their eighth biennial conference focused on new research in consumer credit and payments. The seven papers presented during New Perspectives on Consumer Behavior in Credit and Payments Markets used new data and techniques to explore a number of longstanding questions pertaining to the design, and sometimes renegotiation, of financial contracts; the linkages between consumer credit and the real economy; the effects of government policy during the Great Recession; and the effect of timely disclosures about the cost of student loans on borrowing decisions.
Working Paper Released: How Data Breaches Affect Consumer Credit
The authors use the 2012 South Carolina Department of Revenue data breach as a natural experiment to study how data breaches and news coverage about them affect consumers' interactions with the credit market and their use of credit. They find that some consumers directly exposed to the breach protected themselves against potential losses from future fraudulent use of stolen information by monitoring their files and freezing access to their credit reports. However, these consumers continued their regular use of existing credit cards and did not switch lenders. The response of consumers exposed to the news about the breach only was negligible.
Supersedes Working Paper 15-42.
Conference Announcement and Call for Papers: New Perspectives on Consumer Behavior in Credit and Payments Markets
Conference dates: Thursday, September 7, and Friday, September 8, 2017
Submission deadline: June 15, 2017
The Payment Cards Center and the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are co-organizing their ninth biennial conference focusing on new research in consumer credit and payments.
The landscape of household finance and consumer payments is evolving rapidly, and this conference seeks to capture the latest research. We encourage researchers to submit theoretical and empirical studies that reflect the entire range of approaches and methodologies. We also encourage submissions that address the design and efficacy of regulations for consumer credit markets. Additional details are available here.