NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle

Sumit Agarwal, John C. Driscoll, Xavier Gabaix, David Laibson

NBER Working Paper No. 13191
Issued in June 2007
NBER Program(s):   AG   AP   EFG

In cross-sectional data sets from ten credit markets, we find that middle-aged adults borrow at lower interest rates and pay fewer fees relative to younger and older adults. Fee and interest payments are minimized around age 53. The measured effects are not explained by observed risk characteristics. We discuss several leading factors that may contribute to these effects, including age-related changes in experience and cognitive function, selection effects, and cohort effects.

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This paper was revised on February 12, 2008

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13191

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