A general equilibrium analysis of check float
Households and businesses in the U.S. prefer to use check payment over less costly, electronic means of payment. Earlier studies have focused on check “float,” i.e., the time lag between receipt and clearing, as a potential explanation for the continued popularity of checks. An underlying assumption of these studies is that check float operates as a pure transfer from payee to payor. ; We construct a simple general equilibrium model in which payments are made by check. In general equilibrium, check float need not act as a transfer. If float can be priced into market transactions, then it has no effect on equilibrium allocations. If float is not priced into market transactions, then it acts as distorting tax. Consistent with earlier studies, we show that float can also lead to inefficiencies if banks engage in costly activities designed to accelerate check presentment. ; Our analysis is consistent with view that float is a significant factor behind the continued popularity of check payment. Our analysis also consistent with recent data that indicate that the average value of float (per check) is small.
|Date of creation:||1999|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.newyorkfed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.ny.frb.org/rmaghome/staff_rp/ Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- William R. Emmons, 1995. "Interbank netting agreement and the distribution of bank default risk," Working Papers 1995-016, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- James Bullard & Steven Russell, 1998.
"How costly is sustained low inflation for the U.S. economy?,"
1997-012, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- James B. Bullard & Steven Russell, 2004. "How costly is sustained low inflation for the U.S. economy?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 35-68.
- Freeman, Scott, 1996. "The Payments System, Liquidity, and Rediscounting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1126-38, December.
- Green, Edward-J, 1997.
"Money and Debt in the Structure of Payments,"
Monetary and Economic Studies,
Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 15(1), pages 63-87, May.
- Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin, 1997.
"The Optimum Quantity of Money: Theory and Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
5954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin & Frederic S. Mishkin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 1997. "The optimum quantity of money: theory and evidence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 687-724.
- Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-I-Martin, Xavier X, 1997. "The Optimum Quantity of Money: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 687-715, November.
- Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "The optimum quantity of money: Theory and evidence," Economics Working Papers 229, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Kirstin E. Wells, 1996. "Are checks overused?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 2-12.
- Scott Freeman, 1993.
"Clearinghouse banks and banknote over-issue,"
9326, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
- Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-20, April.
- Lacker, Jeffrey M., 1997.
"Clearing, settlement and monetary policy,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 347-381, October.
- Kahn, Charles M & Roberds, William, 1998.
"Payment System Settlement and Bank Incentives,"
Review of Financial Studies,
Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(4), pages 845-70.
- Charles M. Kahn & William Roberds, 1997. "Payment system settlement and bank incentives," Proceedings 537, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Charles M. Kahn & William Roberds, 1996. "Payment system settlement and bank incentives," Working Paper 96-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Charles M. Kahn & William Roberds, . "Payment System Settlement and Bank Incentives," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-32, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- James N. Duprey & Clarence W. Nelson, 1986. "A visible hand: the Fed's involvement in the check payments system," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 18-29.
- Jeffrey M. Lacker, 1997. "The check float puzzle," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 1-26.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:84. 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: (Amy Farber)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.