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The Theory of Interchange Fees: A Synthesis of Recent Contributions

  • Rochet Jean-Charles

    ()

    (Toulouse University, IDEI and GREMAQ)

We synthesize the results of the recent theoretical literature on the determination of interchange fees by payment card associations. We analyze in particular the conditions under which these interchange fees are excessively high, as compared with social optimum. These conditions involve several parameters: the intensity of competition between banks and between merchants; the elasticities of demand on both sides of the market, as well as the degrees of heterogeneity among merchants and among cardholders. A crucial element is the competitive edge that merchants can gain by accepting cards.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Review of Network Economics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 1-28

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:rneart:v:2:y:2003:i:2:n:4
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  1. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 990-1029, 06.
  2. James J. McAndrews & Rafael Rob, 1994. "Shared ownership and pricing in a network switch," Working Papers 94-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
  4. 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.
  5. Julian Wright, 2001. "The Determinants of Optimal Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Industrial Organization 0108001, EconWPA.
  6. 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.
  7. Sujit Chakravorti & William R. Emmons, 2001. "Who pays for credit cards?," Occasional Paper; Emerging Payments EPS-2001-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P., 2003. "Approaches to Regulating Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-21, June.
  9. Schmalensee, Richard, 2002. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 103-22, June.
  10. Joshua S. Gans & Stephen P. King, 2003. "A Theoretical Analysis of Credit Card Reform in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(247), pages 462-472, December.
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