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Costs and Benefits to Phasing Out Paper Currency

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  • Rogoff, Kenneth S.

Abstract

Despite advances in transactions technologies, paper currency still constitutes a notable percentage of the money supply in most countries. For example, it constitutes roughly 10% of the US Federal Reserve’s main monetary aggregate, M2. Yet, it has important drawbacks. First, it can help facilitate activity in the underground (tax-evading) and illegal economy. Second, its existence creates the artifact of the zero bound on the nominal interest rate. On the other hand, the enduring popularity of paper currency generates many benefits, including substantial seigniorage revenue. This paper explores some of the issues associated with phasing out paper currency, especially large-denomination notes.

Suggested Citation

  • Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2014. "Costs and Benefits to Phasing Out Paper Currency," Scholarly Articles 12491029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:12491029
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2017. "What Marx Means Today," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 229-239, June.
    2. Arteta, Carlos & Kose, Ayhan & Stocker, Marc & Taskin, Temel, 2016. "Negative Interest Rate Policies: Sources and Implications," CEPR Discussion Papers 11433, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Donal Mac Géidigh & Friedrich Schneider & Matthias Blum, 2016. "Grey Matters: Charting the Development of the Shadow Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 6234, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Eschelbach, Martina, 2017. "Pay cash, buy less trash? – Evidence from German payment diary data," International Cash Conference 2017 – War on Cash: Is there a Future for Cash? 162908, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. König, Jörg, 2016. "Bares bleibt Wahres: Bargeld als Garant für Freiheit und Eigentum," Argumente zur Marktwirtschaft und Politik 136, Stiftung Marktwirtschaft / The Market Economy Foundation, Berlin.
    6. Noelia Camara & Enestor Dos Santos & Francisco Grippa & Javier Sebastian & Fernando Soto & Cristina Varela, 2018. "Monedas digitales emitidas por bancos centrales: una valoracion de su adopcion en LatAm," Working Papers 18/05, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    7. repec:eee:ecmode:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:38-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:zna:indecs:v:16:y:2018:i:3-b:p:427-445 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:elg:eechap:16612_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:4:p:673-679 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Zdenek Kudrna, 2014. "The future of the Euro: agreements to disagree and prospective scenarios from the 2014 Vienna debate," Working Papers of the Vienna Institute for European integration research (EIF) 3, Institute for European integration research (EIF).
    12. 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.
    13. Kleczka, Mitja, 2015. "Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy, and Secular Stagnation at the Zero Lower Bound. A View on the Eurozone," MPRA Paper 67228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Geoffrey Dunbar & Casey Jones, 2018. "The (Un)Demand for Money in Canada," Staff Working Papers 18-20, Bank of Canada.
    15. William Roberds, 2016. "Review of Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism by Christine Desan," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(3), pages 906-921, September.
    16. Stefano Neri & Giuseppe Ferrero, 2017. "Monetary policy in a low interest rate environment," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 392, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    17. Gros, Daniel, 2017. "Tightening by Stealth: Why keeping the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve constant is equivalent to a gradual exit," CEPS Papers 12652, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    18. Claudio Borio & Anna Zabai, 2018. "Unconventional monetary policies: a re-appraisal," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on Central Banking, chapter 20, pages 398-444 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Alfred Duncan & Charles Nolan, 2015. "Objectives and Challenges of Macroprudential Policy," Working Papers 2015_22, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    20. George Hondroyiannis & Dimitrios Papaoikonomou, 2018. "Fiscal structural reforms: the effect of card payments on vat revenue in the euro area," Working Papers 249, Bank of Greece.
    21. Gabriele Camera, 2016. "A Perspective on Electronic Alternatives to Traditional Currencies," Working Papers 16-32, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    22. Aglietta, Michel & Ahmed, Pepita Ould & Ponsot, Jean-François, 2014. "La monnaie, la valeur et la règle," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 16.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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