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The evolution of cash transactions: Some implications for monetary policy

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  • Schreft, Stacey L.
  • Smith, Bruce D.

Abstract

This paper considers the implications for monetary policy of a decreasing demand for outside money. It finds that even perpetual declines in the demand for base money pose no threat to the traditional methods employed for conducting monetary policy. The effects of such reductions in the demand for central bank liabilities, however, do depend on how monetary policy is conducted. Four monetary policy regimes are analyzed. With a policy of nominal-interest-rate targeting, a secular decline in the volume of cash transactions unambiguously leads to accelerating inflation. A policy of maintaining a fixed composition of government liabilities leads to accelerating (decelerating) inflation if agents have sufficiently high (low) levels of risk aversion. Inflation targeting produces falling nominal and real interest rates, while a policy of fixing the rate of money growth can easily lead to indeterminacy and endogenous oscillation in interest rates. It is argued that a policy of fixing the composition of government liabilities has several advantages if it is known that agents are not too risk averse and that the asymptotic demand for base money is small. If this information is not known, then interest-rate or inflation targeting have an advantage because their consequences are not sensitive to such environmental features.
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  • Schreft, Stacey L. & Smith, Bruce D., 2000. "The evolution of cash transactions: Some implications for monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 97-120, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:46:y:2000:i:1:p:97-120
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stacey L. Schreft & Bruce D. Smith, 1998. "The Effects of Open Market Operations in a Model of Intermediation and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 519-550.
    2. Michael Woodford, 1998. "Doing Without Money: Controlling Inflation in a Post-Monetary World," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 173-219, January.
    3. Ireland, Peter N., 1994. "Economic growth, financial evolution, and the long-run behavior of velocity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(3-4), pages 815-848.
    4. Greenwood, Jeremy & Smith, Bruce D., 1997. "Financial markets in development, and the development of financial markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 145-181, January.
    5. Schreft, Stacey L. & Smith, Bruce D., 1997. "Money, Banking, and Capital Formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 157-182, March.
    6. Townsend, Robert M, 1987. "Economic Organization with Limited Communication," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 954-971, December.
    7. Gordon H. Sellon & Stuart E. Weiner, 1996. "Monetary policy without reserve requirements: analytical issues," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 5-24.
    8. Schreft, S L, 1992. "Transaction Costs and the Use of Cash and Credit," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 2(2), pages 283-296, April.
    9. Stephen D. Williamson, 1998. "Discount Window Lending and Deposit Insurance," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 246-275, January.
    10. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    11. Bruce Champ & Bruce D. Smith & Stephen D. Williamson, 1996. "Currency Elasticity and Banking Panics: Theory and Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 828-864, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Markose, Sheri M & Loke, Yiing Jia, 2002. "Can cash hold its own? International comparisons: Theory and evidence," Economics Discussion Papers 3734, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    2. Duong Ngotran, 2016. "The E-Monetary Theory," 2016 Papers png175, Job Market Papers.
    3. Schreft, Stacey L & Smith, Bruce D, 2002. "The Conduct of Monetary Policy with a Shrinking Stock of Government Debt," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(3), pages 848-882, August.
    4. Andreas Schabert, 2006. "Central Bank Instruments, Fiscal Policy Regimes, and the Requirements for Equilibrium Determinacy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 742-762, October.
    5. Pedro Gomis-Porqueras, 2000. "Global Dynamics In Macroeconomics: A General Equilibrium Example," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 217, Society for Computational Economics.
    6. Seitz, Franz & Krueger, Malte, 2017. "The Blessing of Cash," International Cash Conference 2017 – War on Cash: Is there a Future for Cash? 162911, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    7. Stacey Schreft & Bruce Smith, 2008. "The social value of risk-free government debt," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 131-155, March.
    8. Gomis-Porqueras, Pere & Haro, Alex, 2003. "Global dynamics in macroeconomics: an overlapping generations example," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1941-1959.
    9. Alexander Kriwoluzky & Christian A. Stoltenberg, 2015. "Monetary Policy and the Transaction Role of Money in the US," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1452-1473, September.
    10. Hung, Fu-Sheng, 2005. "Optimal composition of government public capital financing," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 704-723, December.

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