IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Central bank digital currency and flight to safety


  • Williamson, Stephen D.


A model is developed with a novel approach to analyzing banking panics in general equilibrium. Banks may fail, and bank insolvency potentially drives banking panics in which there is payment disruption, in the absence of sequential service constraints. Policy intervention, including deposit insurance and emergency open market operations, is considered. Central bank digital currency tends to encourage banking panics, in part because panics are less disruptive with central bank digital currency than with physical currency. It may be optimal to live with banking panics, as eliminating them may be too costly.

Suggested Citation

  • Williamson, Stephen D., 2022. "Central bank digital currency and flight to safety," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:142:y:2022:i:c:s0165188921000816
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2021.104146

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Williamson, Stephen D., 2019. "Interest on reserves, interbank lending, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 14-30.
    2. Roberto Robatto, 2019. "Systemic Banking Panics, Liquidity Risk, and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 34, pages 20-42, October.
    3. Chao Gu & Cyril Monnet & Ed Nosal & Randall Wright, 2019. "On the Instability of Banking and Other Financial Intermediation," Working Papers 19.04, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    4. Daniel R. Sanches, 2020. "Central Bank Digital Currency: Is It a Good Idea?," Economic Insights, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, vol. 5(2), pages 9-15, June.
    5. Mark Gertler & Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Andrea Prestipino, 2020. "A Macroeconomic Model with Financial Panics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 240-288.
    6. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Neil Wallace, 1999. "Inside and outside money as alternative media of exchange," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 443-468.
    7. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
    8. Schilling, Linda & Fernandez-Villaverde, Jesus & Uhlig, Harald, 2020. "Central Bank Digital Currency: When price and bank stability collide," MPRA Paper 113248, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 May 2022.
    9. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Daniel Sanches & Linda Schilling & Harald Uhlig, 2021. "Central Bank Digital Currency: Central Banking For All?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 41, pages 225-242, July.
    10. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 24(Win), pages 14-23.
    11. Brunnermeier, Markus K. & Niepelt, Dirk, 2019. "On the equivalence of private and public money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 27-41.
    12. Josh Frost & Lorie Logan & Antoine Martin & Patrick E. McCabe & Fabio M. Natalucci & Julie Remache, 2015. "Overnight RRP operations as a monetary policy tool: some design considerations," Staff Reports 712, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    13. Mark Gertler & Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, 2015. "Banking, Liquidity, and Bank Runs in an Infinite Horizon Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(7), pages 2011-2043, July.
    14. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 175-202, January.
    15. Stephen D. Williamson, 2018. "Low Real Interest Rates, Collateral Misrepresentation, and Monetary Policy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 202-233, October.
    16. Chao Gu & Cyril Monnet & Ed Nosal & Randall Wright, 2019. "On the Instability of Banking and Financial Intermediation," 2019 Meeting Papers 352, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. David Andolfatto, 2021. "Assessing the Impact of Central Bank Digital Currency on Private Banks," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 131(634), pages 525-540.
    18. Jonathan Chiu & Janet Hua Jiang & Seyed Mohammadreza Davoodalhosseini & Yu Zhu, 2019. "Central Bank Digital Currency and Banking," 2019 Meeting Papers 862, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Bagehot, Walter, 1873. "Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number bagehot1873.
    20. Morten Linnemann Bech & Rodney Garratt, 2017. "Central bank cryptocurrencies," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    21. Mohammad Davoodalhosseini, 2018. "Central Bank Digital Currency and Monetary Policy," Staff Working Papers 18-36, Bank of Canada.
    22. Yu Zhu & Scott Hendry, 2019. "A Framework for Analyzing Monetary Policy in an Economy with E-money," Staff Working Papers 19-1, Bank of Canada.
    23. Stephen D. Williamson, 2012. "Liquidity, Monetary Policy, and the Financial Crisis: A New Monetarist Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2570-2605, October.
    24. Williamson, Stephen D., 2016. "Scarce collateral, the term premium, and quantitative easing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 136-165.
    25. Christopher Henry & Kim Huynh & Angelika Welte, 2018. "2017 Methods-of-Payment Survey Report," Discussion Papers 18-17, Bank of Canada.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Keister, Todd & Monnet, Cyril, 2022. "Central bank digital currency: Stability and information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    2. Jeremie Banet & Lucie Lebeau, 2022. "Central Bank Digital Currency: Financial Inclusion vs. Disintermediation," Working Papers 2218, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Todd Keister & Daniel R. Sanches, 2019. "Should Central Banks Issue Digital Currency?," Working Papers 19-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    2. Lukas Altermatt & Hugo van Buggenum & Lukas Voellmy, 2022. "Systemic bank runs without aggregate risk: how a misallocation of liquidity may trigger a solvency crisis," Working Papers 2022-10, Swiss National Bank.
    3. Alexandra Mitschke, 2021. "Central Bank Digital Currencies and Monetary Policy Effectiveness in the Euro Area," Working Papers Dissertations 74, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    4. Jonathan Chiu & Mohammad Davoodalhosseini & Janet Hua Jiang & Yu Zhu, 2020. "Safe Payments," Staff Working Papers 20-53, Bank of Canada.
    5. Janet Hua & Yu Zhu, 2021. "Monetary Policy Pass-Through with Central Bank Digital Currency," Staff Working Papers 21-10, Bank of Canada.
    6. Altermatt, Lukas & Wang, Zijian, 2021. "Oligopoly Banking, Risky Investment, and Monetary Policy," Economics Discussion Papers 30728, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    7. Fatih Tuluk, 2021. "Collateral Misrepresentation, External Auditing, and Optimal Supervisory Policy," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 32(5), pages 975-1016, November.
    8. Hu, Tai-Wei, 2021. "Optimal monetary policy with interest on reserves and capital over-accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    9. Lukas Altermatt, 2022. "Inside Money, Investment, And Unconventional Monetary Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1527-1560, November.
    10. Ohik Kwon & Seungduck Lee & Jaevin Park, 2022. "Central bank digital currency, tax evasion, and inflation tax," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 60(4), pages 1497-1519, October.
    11. Agur, Itai & Ari, Anil & Dell’Ariccia, Giovanni, 2022. "Designing central bank digital currencies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 62-79.
    12. Jiaqi Li, 2021. "Predicting the Demand for Central Bank Digital Currency: A Structural Analysis with Survey Data," Staff Working Papers 21-65, Bank of Canada.
    13. Ohik Kwon & Seungduck Lee & Jaevin Park, 2020. "Central Bank Digital Currency, Tax Evasion, Inflation Tax, and Central Bank Independence," Working Papers 2020-26, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    14. Jonathan Chiu & Mohammad Davoodalhosseini, 2021. "Central Bank Digital Currency and Banking: Macroeconomic Benefits of a Cash-Like Design," Staff Working Papers 21-63, Bank of Canada.
    15. Charles M. Kahn & Maarten van Oordt & Yu Zhu, 2021. "Best Before? Expiring Central Bank Digital Currency and Loss Recovery," Staff Working Papers 21-67, Bank of Canada.
    16. Marcelo A. T. Aragão, 2021. "A Few Things You Wanted to Know about the Economics of CBDCs, but were Afraid to Model: a survey of what we can learn from who has done," Working Papers Series 554, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    17. Keister, Todd & Monnet, Cyril, 2022. "Central bank digital currency: Stability and information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    18. Chiu, Jonathan & Wong, Tsz-Nga, 2022. "Payments on digital platforms: Resiliency, interoperability and welfare," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    19. Ferrari Minesso, Massimo & Mehl, Arnaud & Stracca, Livio, 2022. "Central bank digital currency in an open economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 54-68.
    20. Cong, Lin William & Mayer, Simon, 2022. "The Coming Battle of Digital Currencies," Applied Economics and Policy Working Paper Series 320020, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.

    More about this item


    Digital currency; Monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:142:y:2022:i:c:s0165188921000816. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.