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Cash burns: An inventory model with a cash-credit choice


  • Fernando Alvarez
  • Francesco Lippi


We present a model that characterizes the relationship between optimal dynamic cash management and the choice of the means of payment. The novel feature of the model is the sequential nature of the payments choice: in each instant the agent can choose to pay with either cash or credit. This framework predicts that the current level of the stock of cash determines whether the agent uses cash or credit. Cash is used whenever the agent has enough of it, credit is used when cash holdings are low, a pattern recently documented by households data from several countries. The average level of cash and the average share of expenditures paid in cash depend on the opportunity cost of cash relative to the cost of credit. The model produces a rich set of over-identifying restrictions for consumers’ cash-management and payment choices which can be tested using recent households survey and diary data.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi, 2015. "Cash burns: An inventory model with a cash-credit choice," NBER Working Papers 21110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21110
    Note: EFG ME

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Helmut Stix, 2004. "How Do Debit Cards Affect Cash Demand? Survey Data Evidence," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 93-115, June.
    2. Arango, Carlos & Huynh, Kim P. & Sabetti, Leonard, 2011. "How do you pay? The role of incentives at the point-of-sale," Working Paper Series 1386, European Central Bank.
    3. Huynh, Kim P. & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp & Stix, Helmut, 2014. "The Role of Card Acceptance in the Transaction Demand for Money," CEPR Discussion Papers 10183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Finn E. Kydland & Scott Freeman, 2000. "Monetary Aggregates and Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1125-1135, December.
    5. Anneke Kosse & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Choosing how to pay: the influence of home country habits," DNB Working Papers 328, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    6. Peter Mooslechner & Helmut Stix & Karin Wagner, 2006. "How Are Payments Made in Austria?," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 111-134.
    7. Yassine Bouhdaoui & David Bounie, 2012. "Modeling the Share of Cash Payments in the Economy: An Application to France," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(4), pages 175-195, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Arango & Yassine Bouhdaoui & David Bounie & Martina Eschelbach & Lola Hernández, 2013. "Cash Management and Payment Choices: A Simulation Model with International Comparisons," Staff Working Papers 13-53, Bank of Canada.
    2. repec:onb:oenbmp:y:2017:i:q1/17:b:4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Magnac, Thierry, 2017. "ATM foreign fees and cash withdrawals," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 117-129.
    4. Wang, Zhu & Wolman, Alexander L., 2016. "Payment choice and currency use: Insights from two billion retail transactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 94-115.
    5. repec:bof:bofrdp:urn:nbn:fi:bof-201511251450 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Arango, Carlos & Huynh, Kim P. & Sabetti, Leonard, 2015. "Consumer payment choice: Merchant card acceptance versus pricing incentives," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 130-141.
    7. Codruta Rusu & Helmut Stix, 2017. "Von Bar- und Kartenzahlern – Aktuelle Ergebnisse zur Zahlungsmittelnutzung in Österreich," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 54-85.

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    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money

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