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Paige Marta Skiba

Professor of Law
Professor of Economics

Paige Marta Skiba has conducted innovative research in the area of behavioral law and economics and commercial law, particularly on topics related to her economics dissertation, Behavior in High-Interest Credit Markets. Her current research focuses on the causes and consequences of borrowing on high-interest credit, such as payday loans, auto-title loans and pawnshops, as well as the regulation of these industries. She has been the recipient of numerous research grants and fellowships from institutions such as the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the National Institute on Aging, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. Professor Skiba serves on the board of the American Law and Economics Association and the Society for Empirical Legal Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2007. Professor Skiba teaches Bankruptcy and Behavioral Law and Economics to J.D. students. She also teaches Law and Economics, Behavioral Law and Economics and Econometrics for Legal Research in the Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics.

Recent Presentations


Behavioral Approaches to Financial Decision Making Conference, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Consumer Law Scholars Conference, Center for Consumer Law & Economics Justice, Berkeley Law

Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, Claremont McKenna College

Empirical Legal Studies Replication Conference, Claremont McKenna College

University of Pennsylvania, Law & Economics Seminar

UC Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice, Consumer Law Scholars Conference

University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, University of Michigan


“Is Labor Arbitration Lawless?” with Ariana Levinson and Erin O’Hara O’Connor. Forthcoming, Florida State University Law Review, Vol(48).

“Regulation and Recent Trends in High-Interest Credit Markets,” with Carlie Malone. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, October 2020.

“Predictability of Arbitrators’ Reliance on External Authority,” with Ariana Levinson and Erin O’Hara O’Connor. American University Law Review, 69(1827) (2020).

“Do Payday Loans Cause Bankruptcy?” with Jeremy Tobacman. Journal of Law and Economics, August, 2019.

“Balancing Act: New Evidence and a Discussion of the Theory on the Rationality and Behavioral Anomalies of Choice in Credit Markets,” with Marieke Bos and Susan Payne Carter. Research Handbook in Behavioral Law and Economics, eds, Joshua C. Teitelbaum and Kathryn Zeiler, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018.

“Consumer Litigation Funding: Just Another Form of Payday Lending?” with Jean Xiao. Law and Contemporary Problems, 2017, vol 80, pp. 117-145.

“Payday Loan Choices and Consequences” with Neil Bhutta and Jeremy Tobacman. Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, March-April 2015, 47(2-3): 223–260.

“Tax Rebates and the Cycle of Payday Borrowing.” American Law and Economics Review, 2014, 16(2).

“Dude, Where's My Car Title? The Law, Behavior, and Economics of Title Lending Markets” with Kathryn Fritzdixon and Jim Hawkins. University of Illinois Law Review, September 2014. (Selected for the 2013 Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum.)

“Information Asymmetries in Consumer Credit Markets: Evidence from Payday Lending,” with Will Dobbie. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, October 2013, 5(4): 256-282.

“Regulation of Payday Loans: Misguided?” Washington & Lee Law Review, Spring 2012 69(2).

“Pawnshops, Behavioral Economics, and Self Regulation” with Susan Payne Carter. Review of Banking & Financial Law, Fall 2012.

“The Ticket to Easy Street? The Financial Consequences of Winning the Lottery” with Scott Hankins and Mark Hoekstra. Review of Economics and Statistics, 2011, 93(3): 961-969.

“Pecuniary Mistakes? Payday Borrowing by Credit Union Members” with Susan Payne Carter and Jeremy Tobacman. In Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace, eds., Olivia S. Mitchell and Annamaria Lusardi. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2011.

“Payday Loans and Credit Cards: New Liquidity and Credit Scoring Puzzles?” with Sumit Agarwal and Jeremy Tobacman, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, May 2009.

 Working Papers

“Time to Repay or Time to Delay? The Effect of Having More Time Before a Payday Loan is Due” with Susan Payne Carter, Kuan Liu and Justin Sydnor. (Revise and resubmit: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics).

“Role of Legal Justification in Judicial Performance: Quasi-Experimental Evidence,” with Alessandro Melcarne and Giovanni B. Ramello. (Revise and resubmit, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization.)

“Online Payday Lending,” with Kathryn Fritzdixon. (Revise and resubmit, Journal of Consumer Affairs).

“Installment Lending” with Carlie Malone.

“Hidden Markets: The Importance of Pawnbroking,” with Marieke Bos and Susan Carter.

“Payday Loans, Uncertainty and Discounting: Explaining Patterns of Borrowing, Repayment, and Default” with Jeremy Tobacman, Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 08-33, 2008.




(615) 322-1958 (voice)
(615) 322-6631 (fax)
Law School Room 289 (office)

Curriculum Vitae
Vanderbilt Law School Profile

Paige Marta Skiba at SSRN

Selected Works


In the News

Paige Marta Skiba was elected as chair-elect to the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Law and Economics; she will serve as chair in 2023. AALS Sections are interest groups within AALS that present at the Annual Meeting and conduct other activities in support of the members and their interests, such as mentoring programs, newsletters, and discussions. Skiba also served on a panel in the 2021 Law and Economics Section at the AALS Annual Meeting. 

Vanderbilt Law News profiles consumer financing expert Paige Marta Skiba, who seeks to prevent a wave of consumer bankruptcies as COVID-19 unemployment aid ends. Skiba cochairs an interdisciplinary group of scholars who recommend interventions to protect households from debt collection, foreclosure, eviction and bankruptcy, and to position the bankruptcy system to respond to consumer needs during the pandemic. 

In a Dec. 9 article published by The Conversation  Paige Skiba and Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics student Caroline Malone explain why payday lenders have embraced installment loans, based on their recent study that explored the effect that the larger installment loans have on borrowers. Their results suggest that installment loans may create additional financial strain for consumers rather than benefiting them.

Paige Marta Skiba, professor of law and economics, has been elected to the board of directors of the American Law and Economics Association for a three-year term. Read more at Vanderbilt Law News. 

Top economists from around the world—including several Berkeley-Haas thought leaders—gathered to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of behavioral economics at the University of California, Berkeley. The one-day event was held at the Haas School where Paige Marta Skiba was a panelist on "Becoming Behavioral Economists" at Berkeley. The panel included professors who spent their developmental years on campus. (May 2017)

Professor Skiba wrote about the potential effects of a newly proposed rule on payday loan lenders in her article, "Limiting Access to Payday Loans May Do More Harm Than Good,"  for The Conversation. The rule was proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the aim of eliminating what it called “debt traps” caused by the $38.5 billion payday loan market. Her article in The Conversation was cited in the Boston Globe article, "Payday Loans are a Poor Option. No Payday Loans Would be Worse."

Professor Skiba was invited by The Atlantic to provide a response to their May cover story on shrinking middle-class wealth. Professor Skiba's response on the increase of credit products, specifically payday loans, and the impact that has on consumers is available online.

NBC’s Today reported on the large Powerball jackpot that had not yet been won. The report mentioned Professor Skiba's study that found lottery winners are twice as likely to declare bankruptcy as nonwinners. The story ran on NBC, ABC and FOX affiliates around the country. (January 11, 2016)

Professor Skiba is interviewed by The Atlantic about her research on payday loans and their impact on borrowers.

Professor Skiba wrote about U.S. tax rebates and payday loan borrowers for The London School of Economics American Politics and Policy blog.

News Archive