Department of Economics
University of Essex, Wivenhoe, Colchester
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2015||Unshrouding Effects on Demand for a Costly Add-on: Evidence from Bank Overdrafts in Turkey|
with Mehmet Cemalcılar, Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman: w20956
The pricing and advertising of tied add-ons and overages have come under increasing scrutiny. Working with a large Turkish bank to test SMS direct marketing promotions to 108,000 existing holders of “free” checking accounts, we find that promoting a large discount on the 60% APR charged for overdrafts reduces overdraft usage. In contrast, messages mentioning overdraft availability without mentioning price increase usage. Neither change persists long after messages stop, suggesting that induced overdrafting is not habit-forming. We discuss implications for interventions to promote transparency in pricing and advertising, and for models of shrouded equilibria, limited attention, and salience.