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Doomed to Disappear? The Surprising Return of Cash Across Time and Across Countries

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  • Jobst, Clemens
  • Stix, Helmut

Abstract

The circulation of cash has increased in many economies over the past decade. To understand this development we provide evidence from two perspectives. First, we analyze long time series from the late 19th century to 2015 for several economies. Second, we collect evidence from 70 economies from 2001 to 2014. The descriptive account provides two main findings: (i) Recent increases for the euro, the US dollar and the Swiss franc are strong if seen over a 100 year horizon, (ii) increases can be observed in the majority of the 72 economies over the period from 2001 to 2014. Panel money demand models show that interest rates or GDP can only partially explain the increases in cash demand. The size of the shadow economy is not found to be an important factor for this period. We find that cash demand has evolved in line with a standard money demand model in economies with no record of financial crises. For economies that had a financial crisis in 2008, we find an increase in cash demand, on average. However, an "unexplained" increase is also obtained for wealthier economies that did not have a financial crisis in 2007/08 but before. We conjecture that the level shift in cash demand is related to increased uncertainty.

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  • Jobst, Clemens & Stix, Helmut, 2017. "Doomed to Disappear? The Surprising Return of Cash Across Time and Across Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 12327, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12327
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Will coronavirus accelerate the move towards a cashless economy?
      by bbatiz in The Cashless Society on 2020-09-08 16:54:28

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    Cited by:

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    3. Giorgia Rocco, 2019. "The use of cash in Italy: evidence from the ECB Study on the use of cash by households," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 481, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Tsutomu Watanabe & Tomoyoshi Yabu, 2018. "The Demand for Money at the Zero Interest Rate Bound," CARF F-Series CARF-F-444, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    5. Dimitris Malliaropulos & Petros Migiakis, 2020. "Sovereign credit ratings and the fundamentals of the Greek economy," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 51, pages 1-30, July.
    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. Franz Seitz & Hans-Eggert Reimers & Friedrich Schneider, 2018. "Cash in Circulation and the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Investigation for Euro Area Countries and Beyond," CESifo Working Paper Series 7143, CESifo.
    8. 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.
    9. Peter Wierts & Harro Boven, "undated". "Central Bank Digital Currency - Objectives, preconditions and design choices," DNB Occasional Studies 20-01, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    10. Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald & Helmut Stix, 2018. "How Austrians bank and pay in an increasingly digitalized world – results from an OeNB survey," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q3/18, pages 52-89.
    11. Hans-Eggert Reimers & Friedrich Schneider & Franz Seitz, 2020. "Payment Innovations, the Shadow Economy and Cash Demand of Households in Euro Area Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 8574, CESifo.
    12. Guerino Ardizzi & Andrea Nobili & Giorgia Rocco, 2020. "A game changer in payment habits: evidence from daily data during a pandemic," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 591, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    13. Katrin Assenmacher & Franz Seitz & Jörn Tenhofen, 2019. "The demand for Swiss banknotes: some new evidence," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 155(1), pages 1-22, December.
    14. Morten Linnemann Bech & Umar Faruqui & Frederik Ougaard & Cristina Picillo, 2018. "Payments are a-changin' but cash still rules," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    15. Till Ebner & Thomas Nellen & Jörn Tenhofen, 2021. "The rise of digital watchers," Working Papers 2021-01, Swiss National Bank.
    16. Anton Schautzer & Helmut Stix, 2019. "Approaching 20 years of euro cash in Austria: What has changed, and what’s next?," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q1-Q2/19, pages 99-112.
    17. Hiroshi FUJIKI & Kiyotaka Nakashima, 2019. "Cash Usage Trends in Japan: Evidence Using Aggregate and Household Survey Data," Working Papers e131, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    18. Constantina Backinezos & Stelios Panagiotou & Christos Papazoglou, 2020. "The current account adjustment in Greece during the crisis: cyclical or structural?," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 51, pages 1-18, July.
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    20. Marek Dabrowski & Lukasz Janikowski, 2018. "Virtual currencies and their potential impact on financial markets and monetary policy," CASE Reports 0495, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cash; Demand for currency; Financial crises; international comparison; monetary history;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

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