Funded Phd Research

Christine Dobridge

High-Cost Credit and Consumption Smoothing

Finance Department; Faculty Adviser: Todd Gormley

In this paper, I show that high‐cost credit helps households smooth consumption following periods of temporary financial distress. After experiencing distress—that is, extreme weather events—I find that access to high‐cost payday lending mitigates declines in overall spending and nondurable goods spending generally. The results are particularly concentrated among households with a higher propensity to use payday credit or that have limited alternatives: lower income households, households with less than a college degree, and households with low levels of saving. These results highlight the consumption‐smoothing role that high‐cost credit plays for households with limited access to other types of credit.


Dobridge, Christine L. (2018), High-Cost Credit and Consumption Smoothing, forthcoming, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Dobridge, Christine L. (2014), “Heterogeneous Effects of Household Credit: The Payday Lending Case,” Working Paper,  

In the Press:

“FinLit Talks with Christine Dobridge of the Federal Reserve Board on Effects of Access to High-Cost Consumer Credit,” Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center



The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

The GW/FRB/GFLEC Financial Literacy Seminar

The Consumer Expenditure Survey Microdata Workshop