DP6472 | Financial Innovation and the Transactions Demand for Cash

Publication Date

14/09/2007

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Abstract

We extend the Baumol-Tobin cash inventory model to a dynamic environment, which allows for the possibility of withdrawing cash at random times at a low cost. This modification captures developments in withdrawal technology, such as the increasing diffusion of bank branches and ATM terminals. We document cash management patterns for households that are at odds with the predictions of deterministic inventory models that abstract from precautionary motives. We characterize the solution of the model and show that qualitatively it is able to reproduce such patterns. Estimating the structural parameters we show that the model accounts for key features of the data. The estimates are used to quantify the expenditure and interest rate elasticity of money demand, the impact of financial innovation on money demand, the welfare cost of inflation, the gains of disinflation and the benefit of ATM ownership.