This research examines how credit card debt affects consumer spending. In five experimental and field studies, the authors demonstrate that outstanding credit card debt increases spending for consumers with high self-control. They also show that this effect can be eliminated by increasing the available credit on the credit card. Thus, when the available credit is low, consumers with greater self-control increase spending, but when the available credit is high, they reduce spending. The results extend the literature on goal violation and self-control and offer insights into consumer decision making and consumption patterns under conditions of debt.
© 2011 by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.
Wilcox, Keith, Thomas Kramer, and Sankar Sen. "Indulgence or Self-Control: A Dual Process Model of the Effect of Incidental Pride on Indulgent Choice." Journal of Consumer Research 38 (June 2011): 151-163.
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