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Regulating two-sided markets: an empirical investigation

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  • Santiago Carbó Valverde
  • Sujit Chakravorti
  • Francisco Rodríguez-Fernández

Abstract

We study the effect of government encouraged or mandated interchange fee ceilings on consumer and merchant adoption and usage of payment cards in an economy where card acceptance is far from complete. We believe that we are the first to use bank- level data to study the impact of interchange fee regulation. We find that consumer and merchant welfare improved because of increased consumer and merchant adoption leading to greater usage of payment cards. We also find that bank revenues increased when interchange fees were reduced although these results are critically dependent on merchant acceptance being far from complete at the beginning and during the implementation of interchange fee ceilings. In addition, there is most likely a threshold interchange fee below which social welfare decreases although our data currently does not allow us to quantify it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-09-11.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-09-11

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Keywords: Payment systems ; Consumers;

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References

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  1. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," IDEI Working Papers 152, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Sujit Chakravorti & Victor Lubasi, 2006. "Payment instrument choice: the case of prepaid cards," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 29-43.
  3. Calem, Paul S & Mester, Loretta J, 1995. "Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of Credit-Card Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1327-36, December.
  4. Ausubel, Lawrence M, 1991. "The Failure of Competition in the Credit Card Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 50-81, March.
  5. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. E. Glen Weyl, 2010. "A Price Theory of Multi-sided Platforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1642-72, September.
  7. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Economics of Payment Cards: A Status Report," DNB Working Papers 193, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  8. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Cooperation Among Competitors: Some Economics Of Payment Card Associations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 549-570, Winter.
  9. David Humphrey & Moshe Kim & Bent Vale, 1998. "Realizing the gains from electronic payments: costs, pricing, and payment choice," Proceedings 586, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Consumer Choice and Merchant Acceptance of Payment Media," DNB Working Papers 197, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  11. Scholnick, Barry & Massoud, Nadia & Saunders, Anthony & Carbo-Valverde, Santiago & Rodríguez-Fernández, Francisco, 2008. "The economics of credit cards, debit cards and ATMs: A survey and some new evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1468-1483, August.
  12. 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.
  13. Kahn, Charles M. & Roberds, William, 2009. "Why pay? An introduction to payments economics," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-23, January.
  14. Donze, Jocelyn & Dubec, Isabelle, 2008. "Paying for ATM usage : good for consumers, bad for banks ?," MPRA Paper 10892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Baxter, William F, 1983. "Bank Interchange of Transactional Paper: Legal and Economic Perspectives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 541-88, October.
  16. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P, 2003. "The Neutrality of Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  17. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2003. "Competing Payment Schemes," Departmental Working Papers wp0311, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
  18. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. David B. Humphrey & Lawrence B. Pulley & Jukka M. Vesala, 1996. "Cash, paper, and electronic payments: a cross-country analysis," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 914-941.
  20. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  21. Chakravorti, Sujit & To, Ted, 2007. "A theory of credit cards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 583-595, June.
  22. Rochet Jean-Charles, 2003. "The Theory of Interchange Fees: A Synthesis of Recent Contributions," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-28, June.
  23. Christopher R. Knittel & Victor Stango, 2003. "Price Ceilings as Focal Points for Tacit Collusion: Evidence from Credit Cards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1703-1729, December.
  24. Terri Bradford, 2008. "Developments in interchange fees in the United States and abroad," Payments System Research Briefing, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Apr.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nicole Jonker, 2011. "Card acceptance and surcharging: the role of costs and competition," DNB Working Papers 300, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Scott Schuh & Oz Shy & Joanna Stavins & Robert Triest, 2011. "An economic analysis of the 2010 proposed settlement between the Department of Justice and credit card networks," Public Policy Discussion Paper 11-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  3. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  4. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2011. "Pricing in Retail Payment Systems: A Public Policy Perspective on Pricing of Payment Cards," DNB Working Papers 331, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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