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The Move toward a Cashless Society: A Closer Look at Payment Instrument Economics

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  • Hahn, Robert W.
  • Layne-Farrar, Anne
  • Swartz, Daniel D. Garcia

Abstract

Ever since the first general-purpose charge card debuted in the early 1950s, pundits have been predicting the "cashless society." Over fifty years later, we may finally be getting close to that vision. This study is the first to examine empirically the move toward a cashless society using a cost-benefit framework. We find that when all key parties to a transaction are considered and benefits are added, cash and checks are more costly than many earlier studies suggest. In general, the shift toward a cashless society appears to be a beneficial one.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regulation2point0 in its series Working paper with number 247.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:reg:wpaper:247

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  1. Lawrence H. Goulder & Roberton C. Williams III, 2003. "The Substantial Bias from Ignoring General Equilibrium Effects in Estimating Excess Burden, and a Practical Solution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 898-927, August.
  2. Chakravorti Sujit, 2003. "Theory of Credit Card Networks: A Survey of the Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-19, June.
  3. Anthony M. Santomero & John J. Seater, 1996. "Alternative monies and the demand for media of exchange," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 942-964.
  4. Jeffrey M. Lacker, 1993. "Should we subsidize the use of currency?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 47-73.
  5. Hahn, Robert W. & Layne-Farrar, Anne & Swartz, Daniel D. Garcia, 2004. "The Move Toward a Cashless Society: Calculating the Costs and Benefits," Working paper 316, Regulation2point0.
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