Cultivating Self-Control in FinTech: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Online Consumer Borrowing

Di Bu, Tobin Hanspal, Yin Liao, Yong Liu

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


We report the results of a longitudinal intervention with students across five universities in China designed to reduce online consumer debt. We allocate participants to either a financial literacy treatment group, a self-control treatment group, or a zero-touch control group. Our self-control training intervention features detailed tracking of spending and borrowing, budgeting, and introspection about consumption choices. This intervention reduces online borrowing and delinquency charges, mainly driven by a reduction in entertainment-related spending and borrowing. In contrast, financial literacy interventions improve test scores but only marginally affect borrowing. Our results suggest that cultivating self-regulation and budgeting skills can improve borrowing behavior on e-commerce platforms.
FachzeitschriftJournal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (JFQA)
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020