New Fed Study on Debit Cards

Consumers with low credit scores use debit cards more often according to new research by Joanna Stavins, senior economist at the Boston Fed. Higher bank fees for using debit, caused by Durbin, could hurt consumers with low credit scores the most.


Joanna Stavins 
Senior Economist & Policy Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Joanna Stavins is a senior economist and policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, where she focuses on payments issues. She is a member of the Consumer Payments Research Center in the Research Department of the Boston Fed. Her research focuses on understanding how and why consumers pay the way they do, and includes all aspects of consumer payment behavior. She has analyzed the costs of alternative payment instruments and the demand for those instruments, and has estimated social costs and benefits of various payment methods.

In addition to payments, Stavins has conducted econometric analyses of pricing and market structure in several industries, including personal computers and airlines. Her publications include articles in the RAND Journal of Economics, The Review of Economics and Statistics, and Journal of Financial Services Research. She has served as an economic advisor to various payments groups, both within and outside the Federal Reserve System.

She earned both her B.A. and her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. Prior to joining the Bank in 1995, she worked as a senior analyst at National Economic Research Associates.


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