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Money Is Privacy

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  • Charles M. Kahn
  • James McAndrews
  • William Roberds

Abstract

An extensive literature in monetary theory has emphasized the role of money as a record-keeping device. Money assumes this role in situations where using credit would be too costly, and some might argue that this role will diminish as the cost of information and thus the cost of credit-based transactions continues to fall. In this article we investigate another use for money, the provision of privacy. That is, a money purchase does not identify the purchaser, whereas a credit purchase does. In a simple trading economy with moral hazard, we compare the efficiency of money and credit, and find that money may be useful even when information is free. Copyright 2005 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 46 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 377-399

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:46:y:2005:i:2:p:377-399

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References

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  1. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  2. Taub, Bart, 1994. "Currency and Credit Are Equivalent Mechanisms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(4), pages 921-56, November.
  3. Kenneth N. Kuttner & James J. McAndrews, 2001. "Personal on-line payments," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 35-50.
  4. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1998. "Money Is Memory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 232-251, August.
  5. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Williamson, Stephen D., 2000. "Money and Dynamic Credit Arrangements with Private Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 248-279, April.
  6. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80, January.
  7. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Neil Wallace, 1999. "A model of private bank-note issue," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 104-136, January.
  8. Kocherlakota, Narayana & Wallace, Neil, 1998. "Incomplete Record-Keeping and Optimal Payment Arrangements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 272-289, August.
  9. Ellison, Glenn, 1994. "Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma with Anonymous Random Matching," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 567-88, July.
  10. Camera, Gabriele, 2001. "Dirty money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 377-415, April.
  11. Ping He & Lixin Huang & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money And Banking In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 637-670, 05.
  12. Stacey L. Schreft, 2002. "Clicking with dollars : how consumers can pay for purchases from E-tailers," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 37-64.
  13. Townsend, Robert M, 1989. "Currency and Credit in a Private Information Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1323-44, December.
  14. Charles M. Kahn & James McAndrews & William Roberds, 2000. "A theory of transactions privacy," Working Paper 2000-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  15. Araujo, Luis, 2004. "Social norms and money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 241-256, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Randall Wright & Lixin Huang & Ping He, 2008. "Money, Banking, and Monetary Policy," 2008 Meeting Papers 347, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Charles M. Kahn & William Roberds, 2005. "Credit and identity theft," Working Paper 2005-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  3. William Roberds & Stacey L. Schreft, 2008. "Data breaches and identity theft," Working Paper 2008-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. von Peter, Goetz, 2009. "Asset prices and banking distress: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 298-319, September.
  5. Randall Wright, 2005. "Introduction to "Models of Monetary Economies II: The Next Generation"," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Oct, pages 2-9.

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