Unshrouding: Evidence from Bank Overdrafts in Turkey, The Journal of Finance
Lower prices produce higher demand . . . or do they? A bank’s direct marketing to holders of “free” checking accounts shows that a large discount on 60% APR over-drafts reduces overdraft usage, especially when bundled with a discount on debit card or autodebit transactions. In contrast, messages mentioning overdraft availability without mentioning price increase usage. Neither change persists long after the messages stop. These results do not square easily with classical models of consumer choice and firm competition. Instead, they support behavioral models where consumers underestimate and are inattentive to overdraft costs, and firms respond by shrouding overdraft prices in equilibrium.
Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman
Karlan, Dean, and Jonathan Zinman. 2018. Unshrouding: Evidence from Bank Overdrafts in Turkey. The Journal of Finance. 73(2): 481-522.