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Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Working Papers
Payment choice with consumer panel data
Michael Cohen
Marc Rysman

We exploit scanner data to track payment choice for grocery purchases for a large panel of households over three years. We show that households focus most of their expenditures on one or at most two of these instruments in choosing between using cash, a check, or a card, and they very rarely switch. We focus particularly on the role of expenditure size in determining payment choice. While the use of a long panel for these purposes is novel, the introduction of controls for household heterogeneity has little effect on our estimates. Thus, we find that transaction size is an important determinant of payment choice, not only across households but within households.

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Michael Cohen & Marc Rysman, Payment choice with consumer panel data, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Working Papers 13-6, 2013.
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Keywords: Consumers' preferences ; Cash transactions ; Checks ; Credit cards ; Debit cards
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