• This is a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research and has been approved for publication by its board of directors. It will be reprinted in the National Bureau's series of “Occasional Papers.”

    I am particularly indebted to John M. Chapman, of Columbia University, and to Geoffrey H. Moore, of the National Bureau, for their assistance. Other members of the National Bureau staff who reviewed earlier drafts and made constructive suggestions are Ralph L. Nelson, Joseph W. Conard, Phillip Cagan, Wallace P. Mors, Paul F. Smith, Philip A. Klein, F. Thomas Juster, and Jacob Mincer. Thanks are also due to Marion B. Folsom, Nathaniel Goldfinger, Harold G. Halcrow, and Theodore O. Yntema of the National Bureau's board of directors.

    Members of the advisory committee of the Consumer Credit Study who assisted in the planning and criticism of drafts of this study are Paul W. McCracken (chairman), University of Michigan; Gordon E. Areen, Associates Investment Company; Frank Barsalou, Pacific Finance Corporation; Dorothy S. Brady, University of Pennsylvania; John M. Chapman, Columbia University; Mona Dingle, Division of Research and Statistics, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system; Bertrand Fox, Harvard University; Raymond W. Goldsmith, Yale University; Robert E. Lewis, First National City Bank of New York; Roger F. Murray, National Bureau of Economic Research; Roland I. Robinson, Michigan State University; Herbert Stein, Committee for Economic Development; Van Buren Thorne, Jr., General Motors Acceptance Corporation; and William L. Wilson. C.I.T. Financial Corporation.

    Others who formerly served on the advisory committee are George Dimmler, George W. Omacht, Sidney E. Rolfe, and LeRoy A. Weller.

    Special acknowledgment is due the financial institutions and governmental agencies that contributed data to the study. Particular mention should be made of the help given by Donald P. Siegel, Associates Investment Company; Allen S. Brush and Robert F. Murphy, General Motors Acceptance Corporation; Edmund G. Benser, C.I.T. Financial Corporation; LeRoy A. Weller and Richard Warfel, Pacific Finance Corporation; Mona Dingle, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and Irston Barnes, Federal Trade Commission.

    Statistical assistance was faithfully and competently given by Florence Liang and Geoffrey M. Durbin, of the National Bureau. James F. McRee, Jr., edited the manuscript, and H. Irving Forman drew the charts.

    The Consumer Credit study was made possible by research grants from four finance companies: Associates Investment Company, C.I.T. Financial Corporation, General Motors Acceptance Corporation, and Pacific Finance Corporation. These institutions are, of course, not to be held responsible for any of the statements made or views expressed herein.