Journal of Financial Market Infrastructures

Central bank intervention in large-value payment systems: an experimental approach

Peter Heemeijer and Ronald Heijmans


This experimental study investigates the behavior of banks in a large-value payment system. More specifically, we look at the reactions of banks to disruptions in the payment system and theway incentives of the central bank can change banks'behavior. The game used in this experiment is a stylized version of a 2006 model of Bech and Garratt in which each bank can choose between paying in the morning (efficient) or in the afternoon (inefficient) and builds on the 2010 game by Abbink et al. The results show that a positive (negative) incentive to pay late steers payments to the inefficient (efficient) equilibrium. In contrast to our expectations, providing detailed information on disruptions steers payments toward the inefficient equilibrium.

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