6 Aug 2012 by Gottfried Leibbrandt

Where’s George?

Where do you spend your money? Is it close to home, further away, abroad? In this chapter we literally follow the money. Less than 5% of all non-cash transactions are cross-border. It appears that when travelling abroad, consumers tend to use cash more frequently than at home. Typically, however, it seems that money itself does not travel very far. When the Euro was first introduced it was expected that over half the coins in Germany would be ‘foreign’ in six years. The reality is that as of 2008 75% of €1 coins in Germany were of German origin. Denomination rears its head again, as we find that €1 and €2 coins spread about twice as fast as 5 and 10 cent coins, and almost three times as fast as 1 and 2 cent coins. A US based project called Where’s George supports the view that money does not travel far. When tracking individual bank notes it seems that more than 50% of notes travel less than 10 km between reporting points. Money, like humans, it appears, prefer to stay close to home.

Download chapter 5, Where’s George?, here.

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