HKU-SCF FINTECH TALK SERIES – Digital Payments and Consumption: Evidence from the 2016 Demonetization in India

HKU Business School and HKU-SCF FinTech Academy are delighted to have Professor Sumit AGARWAL as our speaker for this seminar.  Professor Agarwal from the National University of Singapore (NUS) is a top researcher in the fields such as financial institutions, household finance, behavioral finance, international finance, real estate markets, urban economics and capital markets.

Topic: Digital Payments and Consumption: Evidence from the 2016 Demonetization in India
Date: 18 July 2023, Tuesday
Time: 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Venue: KKL 1121, K.K. Leung Building, The University of Hong Kong
Format: Hybrid
Registration: Not required (walk-ins welcome)
Target audience: HKU academic/research related members

Abstract of the seminar:

We study how consumer spending responds to digital payments, using the differential switch to digital payments across consumers induced by the sudden 2016 Indian Demonetization for identification.  Usage of digital payments rose by 2.94 percentage points and monthly spending increased by 2.38% for an additional 10 percentage points in prior cash dependence.  Spending remained elevated even when cash availability recovered. Robustness analyses show that the spending response is not driven by income shocks, credit supply, price changes, or consumers’ moving to the formal market. We provide evidence that digital payments increase consumer spending due to subdued salience.

Speaker: Professor Sumit Agarwal (



Low Tuck Kwong Distinguished Professor of Finance, Economics and Real Estate
Managing Director, Sustainable and Green Finance Institute
Head, Department of Real Estate
President, Asian Bureau of Finance and Economics Research
National University of Singapore and ABFER

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Jul 18 2023


4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Jul 18 2023
  • Time: 4:30 am - 6:00 am

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