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STICERD Industrial Organisation Seminars

Distorted Advice in the Mortgage Market: Theory and Structural Estimation

Andrea Pozzi (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance), joint with Leonardo Gambacorta, Luigi Guiso, Paolo Mistrulli and Anton Tsoy

Monday 24 October 2016 12:30 - 14:00

This event will take place online.

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars or as online and in person. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, current restrictions mean in-person seminars are only open to members of the LSE community (those with a valid LSE ID card).

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom.

About this event

Complex financial decisions, such as choosing the mortgage type, require some degree of sophistication to form expectations about the future evolution of economic conditions. This provides banks, who often advise households, with an opportunity to steer unsophisticated households choices in a way that benefits them though not necessarily be in the household best interest. We set up a structural model of financial advice and estimate it exploiting administrative data on the universe of mortgages issued to Italian households. In the model, there are two types of households: Sophisticated households are perfectly informed and know which mortgage is best for them; naive households are instead susceptible to advice and will take the type of mortgage recommended by the bank. Each bank has an ideal mix of issued fixed and adjustable rate mortgages and attempts to achieve it by both appropriately setting the rates and strategically providing advice to its clientele. Banks compete in setting rates and households search. We recover the primitives of the model, in particular the share of “sophisticated” and “naive” households in the population, and use them to quantify the welfare implications of biased financial advice. In a counterfactual exercise, we study the effect of a financial literacy initiative which improves the general financial knowledge of the public reducing the scope for biased advice.

Industrial Organisation seminars are held on Mondays in term time at 12:30-14:00, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organiser: Alessandro Gavazza.

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email:

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This event will take place online.