Dean Chakravorti and Research Fellow Mazzotta Explore "The Cost of Cash in the United States"
Date: August 30, 2013
The Cost of Cash is a study of how four countries see cash. The ends and uses of cash are remarkably different in the United States, Mexico, Egypt, and India. This is partly due to difference in infrastructure for payments and cash operations; and partly due to different social conventions about how and when to use cash.
Cash is unique among payment instruments in that anyone can to transact any time, any place, with no third parties. With this freedom comes strong privacy protection: currency neither knows nor cares who holds it, nor when and where. This freedom creates a parallel economy outside the banking system. That creates big headaches for businesses that must safeguard cash from fraudsters and thieves, and for government that must unravel money laundering webs and crack down on tax evasion.