Call for Papers: Determinants of Non-cash payments and alternative money

Report of March 5, 2020

Conference in Bremen, June, 16th, 2020 and Quarterly Journal of Economic Research (DIW Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung)


Advances in payment technologies have considerably extended the way how we pay for transactions. While the majority of financial transactions has been even traditionally done by the means of non-cash (e.g. equity payments in mergers & acquisitions), nowadays cash settlement faces various challenges.

Cash payments has been criticized as an instrument of crime, tax evasion and corruption. Additionally, electronic currencies are said to ease financial inclusion and fight fraud, since every transaction would be electronically traceable. Enthused internet-based communities have been proposing alternative “crypto-currencies” and network-based protocols in order to circumvent traditional financial institution.

Non-cash payments as well as cash alternatives change the medium of exchange and challenge the financial system. The change may have relevant micro- and macroeconomic implications, since economic functions, which depend on the properties of money, may be deeply transformed by changes in financial intermediation. An end of cash could then pose challenges for the current structure of financial markets. As an example, money creation has involved specific arrangements between public and private actors, which may become obsolete. Constitutional political choices are therefore involved in organizing money in the economy and society. Any inquiry into these topics requires insights into the microeconomics of non-cash and alternative cash media, as well as deep knowledge of the organizations and institutions involved.

These complex issues need thorough research. Take as an example, the share of peer-to-peer payments in economies: how can we measure it in times of crypto-currencies? What are the determinants behind the decision to use non-cash media or to engage in alternative financing instruments like crowdfunding? Does the spreading of non-cash payments depend on the financial literacy? What is the economic impact of these new methods, including the impact on financial literacy? How the various money media may be governed? What can be learned from the history of money and banking, and of financial crisis? These and other topics may be addressed during the conference “Determinants of Non-cash payments and alternative money”.


The workshop aims to provide a refined view of the complex topics related to the use of non-cash and alternative currencies. The topics may include functions of non-cash payment instruments, the appropriate organization and governance of the institutions necessary for currency systems on the basis of electronic currencies, the role of the public authority in such systems, and the various challenges for the traditional functions of money and the related organizations and institutions imposed by contemporary technological developments.

Suggested topics (not exclusive)

  • Macro- and/or microeconomic implications of alternative payment systems.
  • Measurement of the share of various payment systems.
  • Impact of new payment systems on economic activity (and tax revenue), e.g. on financial literacy, and vice versa.
  • Determinants of the non-cash payments.
  • Current regulation and legal challenges for the non-cash and alternative currencies.
  • Government plans to suppress cash.
  • Decaying money.
  • History of money.
  • Money, credit and banking.

Submissions for proposals for posters

These should be maximum 400 words long, plus bibliographical references (if appropriate) and plus short biographies about author(s). The proposal should be sent to Mechthild Schrooten (, Armin Varmaz ( and Dorothea Schäfer by April 26th, 2020. Authors will be informed of their participation by May 4th, 2020. The posters can be in German or in English. 

Submission of papers

All authors of accepted posters will be asked to submit a full paper for the Quarterly Journal of Economic Research 4-2020 & 01/2021 (DIW Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung). Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. The paper should be written in English and sent to Mechthild Schrooten (, Armin Varmaz ( and Dorothea Schäfer by August, 31th, 2020 for the usual peer review process.

Scientific committee

Ulrich Kuron, Thorsten Poddig, Dorothea Schäfer, Mechthild Schrooten, Armin Varmaz

Dorothea Schäfer

Research Director Financial Markets in the Macroeconomics Department