No.185 Currency Choice in Domestic Transactions by Cambodian Households: The Importance of Transaction Size and Network Externalities
Beyond dollarization in financial systems and business transactions, foreign currency is widely used in domestic transactions by households in several dollarized economies.
Based on data from a nationally representative household survey in Cambodia, we examined the key factors that affect household preferences in relation to currency choice in those transactions where they accept money when selling some assets. We found that size of transaction is negatively correlated to household choice of local currency. In addition, we found that having a bank account mitigates the negative effect of size of transaction on local currency choice, suggesting that availability of financial services could reduce the transaction costs for households when accepting local currency. We also found that our measures of the extent of the network externalities of foreign currency are significantly correlated to household choice of foreign currency.
Our findings suggest that improvement in the usability of local currency gained by reducing the transaction costs of local currency relative to foreign currency, particularly for large transactions, can have a positive impact on household use of the local currency in domestic transactions.
Keywords: Dollarization, currency preference, transaction cost, household survey data