Over the past two decades I’ve been lucky to have a career that was half in the academic world and half in the public policy world. I spent the first eight years of my career as a regular faculty member in an economics department (University of Delaware). I spent the next 20 years as director of academic research centers (at Purdue University, Georgetown University, and George Washington University) that focused on public policy affecting retail financial services, especially with respect to companies that provide consumers with credit cards, auto loans, mortgage loans and a host of other credit products. Research is always interesting, but doing research on issues that directly impact people’s lives, and under the hot lens of public policy scrutiny in Washington D.C., is exciting.
Since joining the faculty of the Norton School in December 2007, I’ve directed the Take Charge America Institute (TCAI) for consumer financial education and research. I’m still working on financial services issues, but this time by helping to build financial literacy, especially among America’s youth. Consumers today face a tremendous array of financial products and choices. But lately, the daily headlines are full of stories that highlight the perils for those who make uninformed choices when it comes to borrowing, spending, saving and investing. I’m delighted to be a part of the University’s effort to build financial education programs that are now being used by tens of thousands of teachers across the country.
When I’m not having fun in the classroom or at the Institute, I hike, golf, lap swim (I was a competitive swimmer and a scholarship student-athlete through college) and do all the other outdoor activities you can do year-round in Southern Arizona. My wife and I live in Oro Valley, where we also enjoy sunsets and the moon rising over the Catalinas.
- Consumer and mortgage debt
- Credit reports and credit scoring
- Financial literacy
- Economic education
I’ve designed projects on a wide range of policy-oriented issues involving the economics of consumer credit markets. Topics have included the causes and consequences of personal bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosures; the role of credit bureau data, credit scoring and risk management tools in expanding access to consumer loans in the U.S. and globally; and the pros and cons of improved loan disclosures and regulatory limits on loan products in helping consumers to make good credit choices.
I’ve also conducted projects for the National Retail Federation and other national associations on issues such as credit card usage patterns and the impact of privacy regulations on the products and customer service offered by retail financial services firms.
I’m particularly proud of a series of recent projects sponsored by American Express and the Consumer Federation of America that demonstrate the rehabilitative effects of credit counseling on long-term borrower behavior.
- Pilot Study 2 on Processes for Determining the Accuracy of Credit Bureau Information. Funding: Federal Trade Commission under contract FTC07H7185. Collaborators: L. Douglas Smith, et al.
- An Analysis of Credit Counseling Debt Repayment Plan Success and Failure. Collaborators: Charles Link and Dan Brown, University of Delaware.
- Is Credit Counseling via the Telephone as Effective as In-Person Delivery? Collaborators: John Barron, Purdue University.
Principal Investigator, Family Economics and Financial Education (FEFE) Project. Funding: $380,000 per year in a multiyear grant, Take Charge America, Inc.
- Retail financial services (undergraduate)
Consumer financial decision-making (graduate)
Please contact Dr. Michael Staten if you are unable to locate one of the publications listed below.
Barron, J.M., and Staten, M.E., (2008). The Emergence of Captive Finance Companies and Risk Segmentation in Loan Markets: Theory and Evidence. Journal of Money Credit and Banking. 40, 173-192.
Elliehausen, G., Staten, M.E., & Steinbucks, J. (2008). The Effect of Prepayment Penalties on the Pricing of Subprime Mortgages. Journal of Economics and Business. 60, 33-46.
Ellliehausen, G., Staten, M.E., & Lundquist, E.C. (2007). The Impact of Credit Counseling on Subsequent Borrower Credit Usage and Payment Behavior. Journal of Consumer Affairs. 41, 1-28.
Staten, M.E. (2006). The Evolution of the Credit Counseling Industry. The Economics of Consumer Credit, edited by Bertola, et al, The MIT Press. 275-300.
Elliehausen, G. & Staten, M.E. (2004). Regulation of Subprime Mortgage Products: An Analysis of North Carolina’s Predatory Lending Law. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economic. 29, pp 411-433.
Cate, F., Litan, R. Staten, M.E., & Wallison, P. (2003). Financial Privacy, Consumer Prosperity and the Public Good: Maintaining the Balance. AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies.
Cate, F. & Staten, M.E., (2003). The Impact of Opt-In Rules on Retail Credit Markets: A Case Study of MBNA. Duke Law Journal, 52, pp 745-786.
Barron, J.M., Staten, M.E., & Wilshusen, S. (2002). The Impact of Casino Gambling on Personal Bankruptcy Filing Rates. Contemporary Economic Policy. 20, 440-455.
Carow, K. & Staten, M.E., (2002). Plastic Choices: Consumer Usage of Third Party vs. Proprietary Credit Cards. Journal of Economics and Finance. 26, 216-232.
Barron, J.M., & Staten, M.E., (1995). Coercion in the Marketing of Credit Life Insurance. Psychology and Marketing. 12, 765-787.