Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Stockholm
We use a survey to identify a consumer bias with regard to different sources of debt-financing. Less salient debt may generate psychological benefits. This should be weighed against the possible economic costs of a sub-optimal capital structure; but low levels of financial literacy make it unlikely that all households perceive the full economic costs. As a result there is a bias in favour of less salient debt. In a market with limited scope for arbitrage this consumer bias is likely to generate inefficiencies. We examine such a market in both theory and practice. The predictions of our model are given strong support by market data.
Household Finance Mental Accounting Co-op Capital Structure