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Why do people save in cash? Distrust, memories of banking crises, weak institutions and dollarization

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  • Stix, Helmut

Abstract

The paper analyzes why households hold sizeable shares of their assets in cash at home rather than at banks – a phenomenon that is widespread in many economies but for which information is scarce. Using survey data from ten Central, Eastern and Southeastern European countries, I document the relevance of this behavior and show that cash preferences cannot be fully explained by whether people are banked or unbanked. The analysis reveals that a lack of trust in banks, memories of past banking crises and weak tax enforcement are important factors. Moreover, cash preferences are stronger in dollarized economies where a “safe” foreign currency serves as a store of value.

Suggested Citation

  • Stix, Helmut, 2013. "Why do people save in cash? Distrust, memories of banking crises, weak institutions and dollarization," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4087-4106.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:37:y:2013:i:11:p:4087-4106
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2013.07.015
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    Cited by:

    1. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Lamla, Bettina, 2014. "The long Shadow of Socialism: On East-West German Differences in Financial Literacy," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100585, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Elisabeth Beckmann & Mariya Hake & Jarmila Urvová, 2013. "Determinants of Households’ Savings in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 8-29.
    3. Jobst, Clemens & Stix, Helmut, 2017. "Assessing recent increases in cash demand," International Cash Conference 2017 – War on Cash: Is there a Future for Cash? 162916, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    4. Brown, M. & de Haas, R. & Sokolov, V., 2013. "Regional Inflation and Financial Dollarization," Discussion Paper 2013-073, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Martin Brown & Helmut Stix, 2015. "The euroization of bank deposits in Eastern Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(81), pages 95-139.
    6. Carin Cruijsen & Jakob Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2016. "Trust and Financial Crisis Experiences," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 577-600, June.
    7. Elisabeth Beckmann & Thomas Scheiber, 2012. "The Impact of Memories of High Inflation on Households’ Trust in Currencies," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 80-93.
    8. Filipiak, Ute, 2016. "Trusting financial institutions: Out of reach, out of trust?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 200-214.
    9. Jim Engle-Warnick & Diego Pulido & Marine de Montaignac, 2016. "Trust, ambiguity, and financial decision-making," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-44, CIRANO.
    10. repec:ebd:wpaper:163 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:mea:meawpa:14282 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:onb:oenbfi:y:2018:i:q1-18:b:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Matti Viren, 2015. "Why so little revenues are obtained from a presumed large shadow economy?," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 101-123, May.
    14. Thomas Scheiber & Caroline Stern, 2016. "Currency substitution in CESEE: why do households prefer euro payments?," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 73-98.
    15. Beckmann, Elisabeth & Mare, Davide Salvatore, 2017. "Formal and informal household savings: how does trust in financial institutions influence the choice of saving instruments?," MPRA Paper 81141, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. repec:onb:oenbfi:y:2018:i:q1-18:b:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Ha van Dung, 2014. "Short-term precaution, insurance and saving mechanisms in rural Vietnam," Working Papers CIE 82, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    18. Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald & Thomas Scheiber, 2012. "Euro Cash in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 41-55.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cash demand; Cash hoarding; Household finance; Trust in banks; Social capital; Dollarization;

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • P34 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Finance

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