Über die Natur und das Wesen des Geldes – Johann Heinrich von Thünens unveröffentlichter Beitrag zur Geldtheorie
AbstractThe economic works of Johann Heinrich von Thünen include 1,000 unpublished pages of drafts and notes on the basis of which he prepared the second volume of his famous “Isolated State in Relation to Agriculture and Political Economy”. Thünen wrote his texts in the so-called Deutsche Kanzleischrift, a script which can be read today only by specialised histori-ans, rarely by economists. In a first part of a research project of the Thünen-Gesellschaft e.V. 300 pages were transliterated, from which the first 60 pages were reviewed until October 2009. It becomes obvious that Thünen’s work is much more far-reaching than the contributions pub-lished by himself or edited by Schumacher in 1863 and 1875 show. Its bulk was not made accessible until today. This can be easily demonstrated by the content of these first 60 pages, especially those treating monetary questions and preparing Thünen’s theory of capital and interest. Thünen starts his analysis with a description of the diminishing return of money keeping in an enterprise. He considers both the exchange and the stock function of money. He describes the pros and cons of the creation of paper money as a substitute for coins. Thünen is the first economist who develops an extended quantity theory of money by introducing the velocity of money transactions and formulating the correct algebraic formula. He anticipates the famous Newcomb-Fisher equation but with one difference: in Thünen’s opinion the prod-uct of velocity and quantity of money primarily determines the value of circulating capital goods and assets, an argument which has to be understood with the contemporary rural eco-nomic conditions in mind. He analyses the liquidity effect of positive exogenous money shocks. By describing the adap-tation processes in the case of differences between the monetary market interest rate and the real rate of return on capital goods, Thünen presents important mechanisms of Knut Wick-sell’s “Interest and Prices”, which were published 75 years later and still inspire the monetary economists today. In accordance with Henry Thornton, he adequately describes the conse-quences of liquidity preference in the case of uncertain economic situations. In our opinion Thünen’s 1823 contribution is of the same quality as the contributions of the leading monetary theorists in the early 19th century, David Ricardo and Henry Thornton. With respect to the further theoretic development in the nineteenth and twentieth century and from the perspective of modern monetary theory, Thünen’s drafts are an unexpected discov-ery and of particular interest in the current financial and economic crisis. The paper concludes with a preliminary assessment of Thünen’s text in the context of the sec-ond volume of the “Isolated State”, which was published in 1850 and which contains Thünen’s “Theory of Capital and Interest”.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Rostock, Institute of Economics, Germany in its series Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory with number 110.
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Dogmengeschichte; Kapital- und Zinstheorie; Quantitätstheorie; Verkehrs-gleichung; Geldnachfrage; Liquiditätspräferenz;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Stockholm School)
- B16 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Quantitative and Mathematical
- D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-GER-2009-11-14 (German Papers)
- NEP-HIS-2009-11-14 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2009-11-14 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Erkko Etula, 2008. "The Two-Sector Von Thünen Original Marginal Productivity Model Of Capital; And Beyond," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 85-104, 02.
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