Joaquin Saldain Wins Tipton Snavely Award for Outstanding Summer Research

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Third year PhD student Joaquin Saldain won the Economic Department's Tipton Snavely Award for Best Summer Paper (an honor he shares with Ga Young Ko). Joaquin describes the key issues and findings in his paper, High-cost Consumer Lending: Evidence and Theory​, as follows: "High-cost consumer lending, e.g. payday loans in the U.S., typically charge an APR of 322% for small, short-term loans. It is often discussed whether they cause more harm than good but the current literature has not provided a clear answer. In this paper, I make two contributions that will be key in addressing the welfare effect of payday lending. Firstly, I document facts on households that take out payday loans. These households have low wealth and liquidity levels, relatively low income, high demand for credit and are more likely to have higher than expected expenditures or unemployment spells. In the second place, I develop a model of banking and payday lending that delivers, in equilibrium, an interest rate and loan size spread between these lenders as observed in the data."