Conference Announcement: Economics of Payments - March 31-April 1, 2004

Sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia

In recent years, many economists have analyzed various aspects of payments. The economics of payment card networks, in particular, have attracted a great deal of attention. The incentives of participants in large-value payment systems of alternative designs have been explored theoretically, empirically, and through simulation methods. The relationships between the activities of banks, their depositors, and their counterparties have been considered in models of payment systems. The effects on payment activity of particular arrangements for central bank provision of liquidity, interest rates, and monetary policies have also been discussed. Different systems of regulation of payment providers have also been of interest to researchers.

The interest of economists is not surprising, given the developments of payment technologies, business arrangements, and legal and regulatory conditions in recent years. To note but a few of these developments, recently we’ve seen: the creation of the Continuous Linked Settlement Bank and its system for simultaneously settling both sides of foreign exchange trades; the creation of the TARGET system that provides a large-value, real-time payment system for countries in Europe; the redesign of the CHIPS payment system; the extraordinary growth of debit and credit card payments in many countries around the world; the development and successful introduction of personal online payment methods; new check legislation in the United States; and antitrust disputes involving card based payment systems in several countries.

The conference on the Economics of Payments brought together central bank and academic economists to discuss these developments and other issues of interest to researchers in this area.

Program Agenda