New England Economic Review
Опубликовано на портале: 17-12-2007Joanna Stavins New England Economic Review. 2002. Q 3 . P. 19-31.
Predictions about a cashless and checkless society have been made for many years, but retail payments transactions made with electronic payment instruments still constitute only a small fraction of all payments made in the United States. This is the case despite differences in cost and despite marketing and educational campaigns conducted by the Federal Reserve and other institutions. One of the reasons the cost differences have little effect is that the differences in cost among payment instruments typically are not evident to consumers, who are charged the same amount regardless of how they pay. This article explores the possibility that consumer characteristics may affect the adoption of electronic payment instruments. Using data from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances, the author estimates the effect of several demographic characteristics on the probability of using electronic payments. She finds strong effects of demographic characteristics and of location on consumers’ choices. She suggests that the importance of location may indicate demand-related network effects, although further analysis of the supply side would be needed to test that hypothesis.
Опубликовано на портале: 11-01-2003Lynn Elaine Browne, Rebecca Hellerstein, Jane Sneddon Little New England Economic Review. 1998. P. 3-32.
In 1980's, a new convention emerged in the economics profession - that central banks' primary, even sole, responsibility should be controlling consumer price inflation. By the 1990's, this view was gaining credibility in policy circles, and various countries mandated that their central banks make inflation their primary focus (generally with and escape clause in the event of a severe economic shock). Here in the United States, this orthodoxy never gained official status; rather, the U.S. policy goal remains promoting stable long-term growth using a variety of theoretical approaches. ; The recent problems in East Asia, as well as earlier difficulties in Japan, raise the question of whether such a concentrated focus on inflation became tunnel vision. Drawing on the crises in Japan and other Asian countries, with reference to comparable episodes in the United States, this article suggests that a preoccupation with inflation may have lulled policymakers and investors into ignoring useful signals from stock, real estate, and currency markets and from emerging imbalances in the real economy. Whether such imbalances would have been better addressed by monetary policy, or by improved disclosure, supervisory intervention, or tax policy, a broader perspective might have identified problems in Asia before they assumed such crippling proportions. ; This article concludes by suggesting that policymakers may want to look for signs of overheating emanating from asset markets and from emerging imbalances in the real economy, even when consumer prices are well behaved. Signs that high levels of debt may be financing increasingly optimistic investments warrant particular concern. The article also stresses the vulnerabilities that newly liberalized financial markets may introduce and the importance of measures that encourage the private sector to price risk more accurately and force it to bear the costs of international financial crises more fully. Overall, it advocates an eclectic approach to assessing economic performance.