University of ArizonaNorton School of Family and Consumer Sciences

Michael E. Staten, Ph.D.

Take Charge America Endowed Professor and Director, Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research
Assistant Dean for Careers, Commerce and Industry
Retailing and Consumer Sciences
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078
(520) 621-9482

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 and capability especially among America’s youth. Consumers today face a tremendous array of financial products and choices. Perils await 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 spectacular sunsets and the moon rising over the Catalinas.

Areas of expertise: 

Consumer financial decisions

Economics of retail financial services markets

Financial and economic education

Research Focus: 

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 projects sponsored by American Express and the Consumer Federation of America that demonstrate the rehabilitative effects of credit counseling on long-term borrower behavior.  I am also proud of our efforts to create pilot demonstration projects here at the University of Arizona that pair financial education with financial products (e.g., savings programs; student loans) to encourage and support completion of higher education degrees. 

Current Projects: 
  • "Arizona Earn to Learn,"  a matched savings  IDA project sponsored through $1.5 million of federal grants to pair a savings program with financial education.  The program is designed to encourage students from low-income families to aspire to attend the University of Arizona and complete a degree.
  • Accuracy of Credit Bureau Information. I am working on a series of papers stemming from work completed in 2012 for the Federal Trade Commission to measure error rates in U.S. credit reports and gauge their impact on consumer credit scores and credit-related opportunities.
  • Principal Investigator, Take Charge Today project.  Funded by a multi-year grant from Take Charge  America, Inc., this project partners with thousands of high school and middle school teachers across the U.S. to provide them with financial education curriculum (free of charge), including detailed lesson plans, active learning tools, online resources for use in the classroom and professional development programs.
Subjects Taught: 
  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Money, Consumers and Family  (Undergraduate, general elective)
  • Economics and Public Policy (MBA)
  • Managerial and Business Economics (Undergraduate and MBA)
  • Economics of Information and Uncertainty (Undergraduate and MA)
  • Retail Financial Services (upper-division Undergraduate)
  • Behavioral Foundations for Consumer Financial Decisions (Graduate)


Select Publications: 

Please contact Dr. Michael Staten if you are unable to locate one of the publications listed below.


Durkin, Thomas, Gregory Elliehausen, Michael Staten and Todd Zywicki. (forthcoming 2013). Consumer Credit and the American Economy.  Oxford University Press.

Refereed journal articles

Smith, L. Douglas, Michael Staten, Thomas Eyesell, Maureen Karig, Elizabeth Freeborn and Andrea Golden.  2013 (in press).  “Accuracy of Information Maintained by U.S. Credit Bureaus:  Frequency of Errors and Effects on Consumers’ Credit Scores.  Journal of Consumer Affairs. 

Brown, Daniel, Charles Link and Michael Staten.  (2012).  The Success and Failure of Counseling Agency Debt Repayment Plans.  Eastern Economic Journal, 38: 99-117.

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 Economics. 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.


Tel: Main Office 520.621.1075 Norton School Student Services 520.621.1295
Mailing Address: 650 N. Park Ave Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078 (Map to McClelland Park)
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