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A Debtor WorldInterdisciplinary Perspectives on Debt$
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Ralph Brubaker, Robert M. Lawless, and Charles J. Tabb

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199873722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199873722.001.0001

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Balance of Knowledge

Balance of Knowledge

(p.280) 11 Balance of Knowledge
A Debtor World

Elizabeth Warren

Leo Gottlieb

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a prospectus and entreaty on the vital importance of interdisciplinary academic study of debt. The power of interdisciplinary research, particularly empirical claims, in the public policy arena is easy to observe. This chapter, though, also highlights a much more opaque, rapidly advancing, and even more potent realm in which interdisciplinary research on debt is eclipsing academic inquiry: privately generated research on credit-product design. The intense need for public research to keep pace with private is highlighted by the fact that much of the private research seems designed to capitalize on consumers' tendency toward various decision-making errors in their use of debt. Creditors can capitalize not only on pervasive systematic errors, but advances in information technology that will soon enable creditors to pinpoint and exploit the particular cognitive mistakes that particular consumers are prone to make.

Keywords:   interdisciplinary research, debt studies, privately generated research, credit-product design, creditors, consumer mistakes

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