Many low-to-moderate income US households rely upon alternative financial service providers (AFSPs) for a variety of credit products and transaction services. The social welfare implications of this segment of the financial services industry are quite controversial. One aspect of the controversy involves the location decisions of AFSPs. This study examines the determinants of the locations of three types of AFSPs: payday lenders, pawnshops, and check-cashing outlets. Using county-level data for the entire country, I find that the number of AFSP outlets per capita is significantly related to demographic characteristics of the county population, measures of the population’s creditworthiness, and the stringency of state laws and regulations that govern AFSPs.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 11, 2014
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