News and Announcements

Beyond Bitcoin: A new case for novel payment systems
October 14, 2020

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has become a center of excitement, mystery, and controversy. Boosters have viewed it as an investment opportunity, a financial innovation, and a rival to state-controlled currencies; skeptics think it is an energy-wasting market bubble.

MIT economist Robert Townsend sees things differently. To Townsend, Bitcoin, for all its novelty, is part of a larger family of financial innovations, known as “distributed ledgers,” which allow people to perform financial activities without requiring a central authority to keep a master copy of those transactions and while minimizing the need for individuals to trust each other.

Read more at MIT News


Forthcoming in JPE: How corporate trade credit can help fortify supply chains during disruptions
July 16, 2020

Robert M. Townsend, together with co-authors Niklas Amberg, (link is external) Tor Jacobson, (link is external)and Erik von Schedvin, (link is external) will publish a new paper in a forthcoming issue of Journal of Political Economy that investigates the role liquidity and trade credits can play throughout supply chains. “Curbing Shocks to Corporate Liquidity: The Role of Trade Credit” has important implications for understanding how corporations might be affected – and recover – from COVID-triggered interruptions.

Read more: Professor Townsend shares key takeaways from this paper in this Q & A.