Study on role of cash in society published by Ursula Dalinghaus

“Virtually Irreplaceable: Cash as Public Infrastructure,” by Visiting Professor of Anthropology Ursula Dalinghaus, has been published by Cash Matters, a movement by the International Currency Association (ICA).

Dalinghaus also is an affiliated scholar at the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California.

She makes the case that cash is a public good, examining its role in society and the characteristics that make it a public good, citing relevant studies, scholars and field experiments.

“Cash in circulation is growing on a global scale by approximately 3% per year; 80% of all payments worldwide are cash transactions,” says ICA Chairman Wolfram Seidemann. “Cash is an essential part of every stable financial and economic system. This paper demonstrates that cash is more than just a means of payment. It is a public good, part of modern life and vital for people’s everyday lives.”

Andrea Nitsche, chair of Cash Matters, adds, “Our study casts fresh light on the discussion around cash as a means of empowerment of citizens and consumers in society. Many of the scholars and experts cited are economists or central bank experts. However, there is also the anthropological point of view which makes for some surprising insights, and serves to illustrate the theses in this paper with examples from the daily lives of people across the globe.”

An interview with Dalinghaus can be read here.


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