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The Decline in Currency Use at a National Retail Chain
We bring new evidence to bear on the contributions of changing transaction sizes and changing demographics to the decline in cash payments at a national retail chain. On average, across the thousands of store locations in our study, the share of cash transactions fell by 8.6 percentage points from February 2011 to February 2015. Our statistical model attributes approximately 1.3 percentage points of that decline to increasing transaction sizes. Changes in demographic and other location-specific variables contribute between 0.5 and 1.3 percentage points, so our analysis attributes ...
Why Do Platforms Use Ad Valorem Fees? Evaluating Two Alternative Explanations
Platforms such as Amazon and Visa intermediate transactions between buyers and sellers. They typically charge ad valorem fees, in which fees depend on transaction values. Given that these platforms do not incur significant costs that vary with transaction value, their use of ad valorem fees poses a great puzzle. In this article, we review recent research on two alternative explanations: double marginalization versus price discrimination. With a generalized framework, we show that the two theories complement each other in explaining this pricing puzzle, and their relative importance is ...
Recent Borrowing from the U.S. Discount Window: Some Cases
The Fed's discount window makes loans to depository institutions on a regular basis. Recent publicly available transaction-level data permit a closer look at the particular circumstances under which some of those loans happened. The analysis of nine specific cases produces some general insights that can be useful in evaluating whether the discount window should be open to making loans during periods of relatively calm financial conditions.
The Impact of Trade Reporting on the Interest Rate Derivatives Market
In recent years, regulators in the United States and abroad have begun to strengthen regulations governing over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives trading, driven by concerns over the decentralized and opaque nature of current trading practices. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act will require U.S.-based market participants to publicly report details of their interest rate derivatives (IRD) trades shortly after those transactions have been executed. Based on an analysis of new and detailed data on the trading activity of major dealers, this post discusses the possible costs and benefits of reporting ...
What Two Billion Retail Transactions Reveal about Consumers’ Choice of Payments
Although cash continues to be a major form of payment in retail transactions, data on the use of cash are challenging to obtain. Research at the Richmond Fed has exploited a large dataset of cash, check, credit card, and debit card transactions at a nationwide retail chain to examine consumer payment choice based on transaction size and location, day-of-week and day-of-month cycles, and longer-term trends.