Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA)


Political Science & Public Administration

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Political Science and Public Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Joshua Gellers

Second Advisor

Dr. Chau Kelly


On the evening of November 8th, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to a shocked India that the two most common banknotes would thereafter cease to be legal tender. Newly designed notes were printed and dispersed to Indians who were forced to wait in long bank and ATM lines, which frequently ran out of cash due to such high demand. There were reports of people dying in lines, not getting paid their salaries due to the chaos, and losing everything in the resulting inflation that plagued rural farmers. Since then, India has seen a rise in cash usage rates compared to pre-demonetization levels, coupled with a loss of precious GDP and growth rates. On the flip side of the demonetization coin lies Sweden, the most cashless society in the world, whose long transition to predominantly digital payment methods has been accepted by most people. Many factors separate India’s demonetization from Sweden’s. To analyze and compare these two countries that underwent demonetization efforts, their cultural factors, such as uncertainty avoidance, preference for cash, jugaad, and political culture must be studied in addition to the economic factors of the origin of change and income inequality. This study shows that both cultural and economic factors contributed heavily to the origins and impacts of demonetization events in India and Sweden.