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The Value of Fiat Money with an Outside Bank: An Experimental Game

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Abstract

Why people accept intrinsically worthless fiat money in exchange for real goods and services has been a longstanding question. There are many competing sufficient explanations that may confound each other in practice but can be individually tested in isolation experimentally. In this paper we examine a sufficient explanation of the value of fiat money through the existence of a debt instrument which allows consumption to be moved earlier in time. We present experimental evidence that the theoretical predictions about the behavior of such economies work reasonably well in a laboratory setting. The import of this finding for the theory of money is to show that the presence of a societal bank and default laws provide sufficient structure to support the use of fiat money, although many other institutions such as taxation provide alternatives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1675.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision: Apr 2010
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1675

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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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Keywords: Experimental Gaming; Bank; Fiat money;

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References

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  1. Gode, Dhananjay K & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Allocative Efficiency of Markets with Zero-Intelligence Traders: Market as a Partial Substitute for Individual Rationality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 119-37, February.
  2. Martin Shubik, 1978. "The Capital Stock Modified Competitive Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 507, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Ioannis Karatzas & Martin Shubik & William Sudderth & John Geanakoplos, 2006. "The inflationary bias of real uncertainty and the harmonic Fisher equation," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 481-512, 08.
  4. Juergen Huber & Martin Shubik & Shyam Sunder, 2007. "Three Minimal Market Institutions with Human and Algorithmic Agents: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1623, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jun 2009.
  5. Hahn, F H, 1971. "Equilibrium with Transaction Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(3), pages 417-39, May.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. Huber, Juergen & Shubik, Martin & Sunder, Shyam, 2007. "Three Minimal Market Institutions: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 27, Yale University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Juergen Huber & Martin Shubik & Shyam Sunder, 2007. "Three Minimal Market Institutions with Human and Algorithmic Agents: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1623, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jun 2009.
  2. Martin Angerer & Juergen Huber & Martin Shubik & Shyam Sunder, 2007. "An Economy with Personal Currency: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1622, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Mar 2010.
  3. Juergen Huber & Martin Shubik & Shyam Sunder, 2009. "Default Penalty as a Disciplinary and Selection Mechanism in Presence of Multiple Equilibria," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1730, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

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