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Central Bank Digital Currency: Central Banking for All?


  • Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde
  • Daniel R. Sanches
  • Linda Schilling
  • Harald F. Uhlig


The introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) allows the central bank to engage in large-scale intermediation by competing with private financial interme-diaries for deposits. Yet, since a central bank is not an investment expert, it cannot invest in long-term projects itself, but relies on investment banks to do so. We derive an equivalence result that shows that absent a banking panic, the set of allocations achieved with private financial intermediation will also be achieved with a CBDC. Dur-ing a panic, however, we show that the rigidity of the central bank’s contract with the investment banks has the capacity to deter runs. Thus, the central bank is more stable than the commercial banking sector. Depositors internalize this feature ex-ante, and the central bank arises as a deposit monopolist, attracting all deposits away from the commercial banking sector. This monopoly might endanger maturity transformation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Daniel R. Sanches & Linda Schilling & Harald F. Uhlig, 2020. "Central Bank Digital Currency: Central Banking for All?," Working Papers 20-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 01 Jun 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:88105
    DOI: 10.21799/frbp.wp.2020.19

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 2015. "Costs and Benefits to Phasing out Paper Currency," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 445-456.
    2. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2001. "Liquidity Risk, Liquidity Creation, and Financial Fragility: A Theory of Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 287-327, April.
    3. Michael D. Bordo & Andrew T. Levin, 2017. "Central Bank Digital Currency and the Future of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 23711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Amil Dasgupta, 2004. "Financial Contagion Through Capital Connections: A Model of the Origin and Spread of Bank Panics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1049-1084, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eun Young Oh & Shuonan Zhang, 2020. "Central bank digital currency and informal economy," Working Papers in Economics & Finance 2020-11, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth Business School, Economics and Finance Subject Group.
    2. Franklin Allen & Xian Gu & Julapa Jagtiani, 2020. "A Survey of Fintech Research and Policy Discussion," Working Papers 20-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 28 May 2020.
    3. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde, 2020. "Simple Rules for a Complex World with Arti?cial Intelligence," PIER Working Paper Archive 20-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    4. Daniel R. Sanches, 2020. "Central Bank Digital Currency: Is It a Good Idea?," Economic Insights, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, vol. 5(2), pages 9-15, June.

    More about this item


    lender of last resort.; maturity transformation; central bank digital currency; bank runs; intermediation; central banking;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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