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Adopting, using, and discarding paper and electronic payment instruments: variation by age and race


  • Ronald J. Mann


This paper uses data from the 2008 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice to discuss the adoption, use, and discarding of various common payment instruments. Using a nationally representative sample of individual-level data, it presents evidence in unparalleled detail about how consumers use different payment instruments. Most interestingly, it displays robust evidence of significant age- and race-related differences in payments choices. Among other things, it suggests that the range of payment instruments adopted and regularly used by blacks is narrower than that chosen by whites, presumably because of relatively limited access to financial institutions. With regard to age, it documents pervasive (and complex) age-related patterns at every step of the decisions to adopt, use, and discard payment instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald J. Mann, 2011. "Adopting, using, and discarding paper and electronic payment instruments: variation by age and race," Public Policy Discussion Paper 11-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbpp:11-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kevin Foster & Erik Meijer & Scott Schuh & Michael A. Zabek, 2010. "The 2008 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice," Public Policy Discussion Paper 09-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    2. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-630, October.
    3. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
    4. Schuh, Scott & Stavins, Joanna, 2010. "Why are (some) consumers (finally) writing fewer checks? The role of payment characteristics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1745-1758, August.
    5. Lex Borghans & Bart H.H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity," Working Papers 200903, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    6. Sujit Chakravorti & Victor Lubasi, 2006. "Payment instrument choice: the case of prepaid cards," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 29-43.
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    Payment systems ; Consumer surveys ; Credit cards ; Cash transactions ; Electronic funds transfers;

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