E1 General Aggregative Models
Two monetary models with alternating markets
- We present a thought-provoking study of two monetary models: the cash-in-advance and the Lagos and Wright (2005) models. We report that the different approach to modeling money — reduced-form vs. explicit role — neither induces theoretical nor quantitative differences in results. Given conformity of preferences, technologies and shocks, both models reduce to one difference equation. The equations do not coincide only if price distortions are differentially imposed across models. To illustrate, when cash prices are equally distorted in both models equally large welfare costs of inflation are obtained in each model. Our insight is that if results differ, then this is due to differential assumptions about the pricing mechanism that governs cash transactions, not the explicit microfoundation of money.
An experiment on retail payments systems
- We study the behavioral underpinnings of adopting cash versus electronic payments in retail transactions. A novel theoretical and experimental framework is developed to primarily assess the impact of sellers’ service fees and buyers’ rewards from using electronic payments. Buyers and sellers face a coordination problem, independently choosing a payment method before trading. In the experiment, sellers readily adopt electronic payments but buyers do not. Eliminating service fees or introducing rewards significantly boosts the adoption of electronic payments. Hence, buyers’ incentives play a pivotal role in the diffusion of electronic payments but monetary incentives cannot fully explain their adoption choices. Findings from this experiment complement empirical findings based on surveys and field data.