FinTech Adoption Across Generations: Financial Fitness in the Information Age

Bruce Carlin, Arna Olafsson, Michaela Pagel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


We analyze how FinTech adoption improves consumer financial decision-making. Using a regression discontinuity in time design, we exploit the exogenous introduction of a mobile application for a financial aggregation platform. In response, individuals accessed information about their transactions and bank account balances more often, which led to significant reduction in high-interest unsecured debt and bank fees. The magnitudes are economically significant: for the overall population, one additional monthly login reduced consumer debt by 14 percent over a 2-year period. Additionally, we complement our within-individual identification with cross-sectional evidence using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy and document the benefit that improved technology has on consumer financial decision making. These empirical findings help to understand the widespread use of such debt throughout the developed world, which has been a long-standing puzzle in the household-finance literature (Laibson et al., 2000).
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages57
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAEA Annual Meeting 2019 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 4 Jan 20196 Jan 2019


ConferenceAEA Annual Meeting 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

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