Paying with Plastic: The Digital Revolution in Buying and Borrowing

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9780262550376: Paying with Plastic: The Digital Revolution in Buying and Borrowing
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Since Diners Club issued its first charge cards in 1950, payment cards—credit, debit, and charge cards—have revolutionized how and whenwe pay for goods and services. In Paying with Plastic, David Evans and Richard Schmalensee provide a nontechnical distillation of their years of research on the economic, technological, and institutional forces that have shaped the payment card industry. They show how competition works in an industry that does not neatly fit any of the standard economic models. They describe how the payment card companies such as MasterCard and Visa have developed complex systems for coordinating transactions among their thousands of bank members and millions of cardholders and accepting merchants. Evans and Schmalensee also describe recent developments in the industry and consider its likely evolution.

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Review:

For better or worse, most of us have at least one of the 720 million little plastic cards that are used each year to complete $860 billion worth of purchases at 15 million incredibly varied merchant locations throughout the world. This is a far cry from the humble beginnings of these myriad credit, debit, and charge cards, which just a few decades ago were generally a perk offered only to elite customers for the acquisition of fine meals, hotel rooms, department-store goods, and oil-company products. They are now so common and such an integral part of our economy, in fact, that few pay them much mind--a situation that makes David Evans and Richard Schmalensee's Paying with Plastic all the more interesting. Evans, senior vice president of National Economics Research Associates, and Schmalensee, dean of MIT's Sloan School of Management, meticulously trace the history of these cards from both the consumer and merchant perspectives in this surprisingly appealing volume, which will prove enlightening to anyone who ever wondered how plastic money works. --Howard Rothman

From the Inside Flap:

"Paying with Plastic examines a quiet revolution in the U.S. economy--the steady transition from checks and cash to credit, debit, and charge cards. The authors describe the causes and consequences of this transition in terms of economics and law--all in plain English that the nonspecialist can understand. This book has become an immensely valuable source on an important subject."
--Robert Pitofsky, Joseph and Madeline Sheehy Professor in Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law, and Dean Emeritus, Georgetown Law School, and former Chairman, Federal Trade Commission

"Paying with Plastic is a practical discussion about a complex industry that drives almost $3 trillion in worldwide purchases every year. Evans and Schmalensee illuminate the inner workings of an industry that many know by virtue of the cards we carry in our wallets, but few really understand. It is required reading for anyone who works in, works with, or studies payment cards."
--Timothy Muris, Foundation Professor of Law, George Mason University, and former Chairman, Federal Trade Commission

"Evans and Schmalensee offer a comprehensive, highly readable account of the evolution of the payment card industry, from the birth of the Diners Club card a half-century ago in Manhattan to the contemporary legal battles between American Express and the bank card associations. Along the way, they analyze the economic impact of the industry in areas ranging from the diffusion of consumer credit to the evolution of multisided market platforms."
--Robert Hahn, Executive Director, AEI-Brookings Joint Center

"Authors Evans and Schmalensee have written the definitive book on the business of bank cards. The reader will come away an expert, with a clear understanding of the business drivers, the players, and the complex issues behind the business of bank cards. This should be required reading for anyone engaged in the bank card industry, from executives at the associations to systems integrators and vendors that service this market."
--John C. Gould, Director of Consumer Lending and Bank Cards Practice, TowerGroup

"This very readable book will appeal not only to policymakers and business executives, but also to the theoretically inclined economist. Evans and Schmalensee provide a rigorous analysis and deep insights about the credit card industry's fascinating institutional features. Paying with Plastic considerably advances the state of our knowledge and is a remarkable achievement."
--Jean Tirole, Institut d'Economie Industrielle, Toulouse

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780262550581: Paying with Plastic: The Digital Revolution in Buying and Borrowing (MIT Press)

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ISBN 10:  026255058X ISBN 13:  9780262550581
Publisher: The MIT Press, 2004
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9780262050623: Paying With Plastic: The Digital Revolution in Buying and Borrowing

Mit Pr, 1999
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9780262050777: Paying with Plastic, 2nd Edition: The Digital Revolution in Buying and Borrowing

The MI..., 2005
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