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Financial Innovation and the Transactions Demand for Cash

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  • Fernando Alvarez

    (University of Chicago and NBER)

  • Francesco Lippi

    (University of Sassari, EIEF and CEPR)

Abstract

We document cash management patterns for households that are at odds with the predictions of deterministic inventory models that abstract from precautionary motives. We extend the Baumol-Tobin cash inventory model to a dynamic environment that allows for the possibility of withdrawing cash at random times at a low cost. This modification introduces a precautionary motive for holding cash and naturally captures developments in withdrawal technology, such as the increasing diffusion of bank branches and ATM terminals. We characterize the solution of the model and show that qualitatively it is able to reproduce the empirical patterns. Estimating the structural parameters we show that the model quantitatively accounts for key features of the data. The estimates are used to quantify the expenditure and interest rate elasticity of money demand, the impact of financial innovation on money demand, the welfare cost of inflation, the gains of disinflation and the benefit of ATM ownership.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 0807.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision: Sep 2007
Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:0807

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  1. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  2. Orazio P. Attanasio & Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2002. "The Demand for Money, Financial Innovation, and the Welfare Cost of Inflation: An Analysis with Household Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 317-351, April.
  3. Lippi, Francesco & Secchi, Alessandro, 2006. "Technological change and the demand for currency: An analysis with household data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Frenkel, Jacob A & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1980. "On Transactions and Precautionary Demand for Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 25-43, August.
  5. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Welfare Costs of Moderate Inflations," RCER Working Papers 266, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Luca Casolaro & Leonardo Gambacorta & Luigi Guiso, 2005. "Regulation, formal and informal enforcement and the development of the household loan market. Lessons from Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 560, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Humphrey, David B., 2004. "Replacement of cash by cards in US consumer payments," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 211-225.
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