An agent-based model of payment systems

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 12 August 2008

Working Paper No. 352
By Marco Galbiati and Kimmo Soramäki

This paper lays out and simulates a multi-agent, multi-period model of an RTGS payment system. At the beginning of the day, banks choose how much costly liquidity to allocate to the settlement process. Then, they use it to execute an exogenous, random stream of payment orders. If a bank’s liquidity stock is depleted, payments are queued until new liquidity arrives from other banks, imposing costs on the delaying bank. The paper studies the equilibrium level of liquidity posted in the system, performing some comparative statics and obtaining: i) a liquidity demand curve which links liquidity to delay costs and ii) insights on the efficiency of alternative system configurations.

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