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David Bounie

5 June 2014
We measure consumers’ use of cash by harmonizing payment diary surveys from seven countries. The seven diary surveys were conducted in 2009 (Canada), 2010 (Australia), 2011 (Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands), and 2012 (the United States). Our paper finds cross-country differences – for example, the level of cash usage differs across countries. Cash has not disappeared as a payment instrument, especially for low-value transactions. We also find that the use of cash is strongly correlated with transaction size, demographics, and point-ofsale characteristics such as merchant card acceptance and venue.
JEL Code
E41 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Demand for Money
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
Eurosystem Research Network on Cash (EURECA)
13 January 2016
Despite various payment innovations, today, cash is still heavily used to pay for low-value purchases. This paper proposes a simulation model based on two optimal cash management and payment policies in the payments economics literature to explain cash usage. First, cash is preferred to other payment instruments whenever consumers have enough balances at hand. Second, it is optimal for consumers to hold a stock of cash for precautionary reasons. Exploiting survey payment diaries from Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands, the results of the simulations show that both optimal policies are well suited to understand the high shares of low-value cash payments in Canada, France and Germany. Yet, they do not perform as well in the case of the Netherlands, overestimating the share of low-value cash payments. We discuss how the differences in payment markets across countries may explain the limitations of the two optimal policies.
JEL Code
C61 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Mathematical Methods, Programming Models, Mathematical and Simulation Modeling→Optimization Techniques, Programming Models, Dynamic Analysis
E41 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Demand for Money
E47 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications