A grant to fund the research paper 'Reform of consumer lease contracts – ensuring greater protection for consumers'.
The project investigated how consumer lease contracts and lending practices affect the financial wellbeing of Victorian consumers.
Australian credit card debt has grown rapidly over the last two decades and there were, as at September 2011, 14.9 million credit card accounts in Australia with outstanding balances of $49.2 billion, representing an ownership rate of 87% of the adult population. Credit cards are the second largest type of household credit product, after household mortgages, provided by Australian banks.
The research paper links the reforms to behavioural economics by identifying how they address two key consumer biases – optimism and imperfect self-control – and examines how the reforms seek to alter the behaviour of consumers who are vulnerable to financial hardship.