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Why Do People Save in Cash? Distrust, Memories of Banking Crises, Weak Institutions and Dollarization

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Abstract

The paper analyzes why households in transition economies prefer to hold sizeable shares of their assets in cash at home rather than in banks. Using survey data from ten Central, Eastern and Southeastern European countries, I document the relevance of this behavior and show that cash preferences cannot be fully explained by whether people are banked or unbanked. The analysis reveals that a lack of trust in banks, memories of past banking crises and weak tax enforcement are important factors. Moreover, cash preferences are stronger in dollarized economies where a “safe” foreign currency serves as a store of value.

Suggested Citation

  • Helmut Stix, 2012. "Why Do People Save in Cash? Distrust, Memories of Banking Crises, Weak Institutions and Dollarization," Working Papers 178, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:178
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    Cited by:

    1. Filipiak, Ute, 2016. "Trusting financial institutions: Out of reach, out of trust?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 200-214.
    2. Jim Engle-Warnick & Diego Pulido & Marine de Montaignac, 2016. "Trust, ambiguity, and financial decision-making," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-44, CIRANO.
    3. Martin Brown & Helmut Stix, 2015. "The euroization of bank deposits in Eastern Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(81), pages 95-139.
    4. Thomas Scheiber & Caroline Stern, 2016. "Currency substitution in CESEE: why do households prefer euro payments?," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 73-98.
    5. Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald & Thomas Scheiber, 2012. "Euro Cash in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 41-55.
    6. Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2016. "A life-cycle model with ambiguous survival beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 137-180.
    7. Brown, Martin & De Haas, Ralph & Sokolov, Vladimir, 2013. "Regional Inflation and Financial Dollarization," Working Papers on Finance 1327, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    8. Carin Cruijsen & Jakob Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2016. "Trust and Financial Crisis Experiences," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, pages 577-600.
    9. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Lamla, Bettina, 2014. "The Long Shadow of Socialism: On East-West German Differences in Financial Literacy," MEA discussion paper series 201405, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    10. Richhild Moessner, 2014. "Effects of explicit FOMC policy-rate guidance on equities and risk measures," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(18), pages 2139-2153, June.
    11. Elisabeth Beckmann & Mariya Hake & Jarmila Urvová, 2013. "Determinants of Households’ Savings in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 8-29.
    12. Jobst, Clemens & Stix, Helmut, 2017. "Assessing recent increases in cash demand," International Cash Conference 2017 – War on Cash: Is there a Future for Cash? 162916, Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt am Main.
    13. Beckmann, Elisabeth & Mare, Davide Salvatore, 2017. "Formal and informal household savings: how does trust in financial institutions influence the choice of saving instruments?," MPRA Paper 81141, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Ha van Dung, 2014. "Short-term precaution, insurance and saving mechanisms in rural Vietnam," Working Papers CIE 82, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    15. Elisabeth Beckmann & Thomas Scheiber, 2012. "The Impact of Memories of High Inflation on Households’ Trust in Currencies," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 80-93.
    16. repec:ebd:wpaper:163 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:mea:meawpa:14282 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Matti Viren, 2015. "Why so little revenues are obtained from a presumed large shadow economy?," Economics of Governance, Springer, pages 101-123.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cash demand; cash hoarding; household finance; trust in banks; social capital; dollarization;

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • P34 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Finance

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