The economics of a cashless society: An analysis of the costs and benefits of payment instruments. A paper from the AEI Brookings Joint Centre for Regulatory Studies.
As a guide for examining policy questions, this paper provides an economic approach for assessing the relative costs and benefits of various payment methods. It is the first study to examine empirically the move toward a cashless society using cost-benefit analysis.
The authors present three case studies that illustrate the welfare implications of substituting one kind of payment method for another. They find that when all key parties to a transaction are considered and benefits are added, cash and cheques are more costly than many earlier studies suggest. In general, conclude the authors, the shift to a cashless society appears to be a beneficial one.
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