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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 260
Title: Consumer Financial Behavior: Integrating Disciplines to Understand Fundamental Economic Activity at the Household Level
Lead Author: Collins, J Michael
Abstract: Consumer finance is an emerging area of inquiry spanning social science disciplines. The field raises significant questions about cognition, risk-taking, self-control, rational decision making, time preferences and social theory. Arguably, researchers lacked the data, theories and methods to be able to inform society or policymakers during the credit boom of the last decade or how to respond as the Great Recession unfolded. The field of consumer finance offers potential solutions to these problems. However, current support for research in this field remains a patchwork among funders. Of greatest concern for the development of future researchers in this field is the fact that there are no systematic sources of support for the training and support of graduate students in consumer finance. Moreover work in this field remains challenging to implement because it fails to correspond to current disciplinary purviews. NSF support for cross-disciplinary collaborations, training and support of future PhDs, the collection of longitudinal data at the household level, and the development of standardized mixed-methods approaches will facilitate academic studies on consumer finance. These studies will provide insights for practitioners, policymakers and consumers themselves to potentially react to future shifts in the credit and personal finance environment.
PDF: Collins_JMichael_260.pdf

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