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.
Wilcox, Keith, Lauren Block, and Eric Eisenstein. "Leave Home Without It? The Effects of Credit Card Debt and Available Credit on Spending." Journal of Marketing Research, Special Issue on Consumer Financial Decision Making 48, Special Issue (November 2011): S78-S91.
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