Information Disclosure and Consumer Behavior: An Empirical Evaluation of Truth-In-Lending

This article offers some empirical insight into the debate over the efficacy of disclosure legislation. The primary concern is the effect of the Act on (1) the level of consumer knowledge of interest rates and finance charges; (2) the extent of comparison shopping; and (3) the decisions to postpone purchases, to use cash instead of credit, or to reduce the finance charges by increasing the downpayment or reducing the number of payments. The article also evaluates patterns of consumer behavior and credit-granting procedures which may constrain the long-run potential of TIL.