The Determinants of Consumer Credit: A Review of the Literature

  • Daniela Vandone
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


The literature of consumer credit is sizeable. Such a body of work reflects not only the composite nature of unsecured debt, but also the fact that different methodological approaches exist depending on the research questions under analysis and the objectives sought.

Four main approaches can be seen: a management approach, which focuses on the characteristics of the credit industry, its workings and the policies adopted by supply-side players; a legal approach, which investigates the impact the regulatory framework has on competition and consumer protection; a socio-psychological approach, which analyses how individuals are affected by consumption behaviour and indebtedness choices; an economic approach, which for the most part concentrates on the determinants of the demand for and supply of consumer credit and on an analysis of the characteristics of individuals and households in debt.

In this chapter we will discuss the economic approach with the aim of providing an outline of the individual and institutional factors that are considered in the literature as determinants of consumer credit, its diffusion and distribution amongst different segments of the population.


Justice System Institutional Factor Credit Market Credit Constraint Permanent Income 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università degli Studi di MilanoDepartment of Economics, Business and StatisticsMilanItaly

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