Monetary Policy with a Central Bank Digital Currency: The Short and the Long Term

75 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2020

See all articles by Florian Böser

Florian Böser

ETH Zürich - CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: September 1, 2020

Abstract

We examine how the introduction of an interest-bearing central bank digital currency (CBDC) impacts bank activities and monetary policy. Depositors can switch from bank deposits to CBDC as a safe medium of exchange at any time. As banks face digital runs, either because depositors have a preference for CBDC or fear bank insolvency, monetary policy can use collateral requirements (and default penalties) to initially increase bankers' monitoring incentives. This leads to higher aggregate productivity. However, the mass of households holding CBDC will increase over time, causing additional liquidity risk for banks. After a certain period, monetary policy with tight collateral requirements generating liquidity risk for banks and exposing bankers to default penalties would render banking non-viable and prompt the central bank to abandon such policies. Under these circumstances, bankers' monitoring incentives will revert to low levels. Accordingly, a CBDC can at best yield short-term welfare gains.

Keywords: Central bank digital currency - Monetary policy - Banks - Deposits

JEL Classification: E42, E52, E58, G21, G28

Suggested Citation

Böser, Florian and Gersbach, Hans, Monetary Policy with a Central Bank Digital Currency: The Short and the Long Term (September 1, 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP15322, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3723511

Florian Böser (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich - CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Research ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 82 80 (Phone)
+41 44 632 18 30 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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