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Les trois états de la monnaie. Approche interdisciplinaire du fait monétaire


  • Bruno Théret


Based on an interdisciplinary approach, this article aims at elucidating what can be called the nature of money. To define it, we first distinguish between the generic properties of every money and its different and non specifically monetary uses. Then currency is grasped through its three functional forms –account, “monnayage”, and payment– which are reproduced by their dynamic looping. Further we examine the three states in which a currency can be observed –embodied, objectivized, institutionalized–, and the way each of these states is generating a particular form of monetary faith –ethical (trust), methodic (confidence), and hierarchical (credibility). Finally, correlating the two preceeding points of view, we draw two of its features which most of the time are discarded: value is granted to a money only in the societal environment where it functions as a cultural capital; as an operator of societal totalization, money, save in periods of crisis, allows the distributive –social and territorial– dimensions of every monetary regime to be concealed. Classification JEL : B40, B52, E42, E50, N10, Z13

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Théret, 2008. "Les trois états de la monnaie. Approche interdisciplinaire du fait monétaire," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 59(4), pages 813-841.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_594_0813

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sahal, Devendra, 1985. "Technological guideposts and innovation avenues," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 61-82, April.
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    4. Sahal, Devendra, 1981. "Alternative conceptions of technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 2-24, January.
    5. von Hippel, Eric, 1976. "The dominant role of users in the scientific instrument innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 212-239, July.
    6. Schumpeter, Joseph A., 1947. "The Creative Response in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 149-159, November.
    7. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-596, September.
    8. A. C. Taymans, S. J., 1950. "Tarde and Schumpeter: A Similar Vision," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 611-622.
    9. Jorge Niosi & Bertrand Bellon & Paolo Saviotti & Michaël Crow, 1992. "Les systèmes nationaux d'innovation : à la recherche d'un concept utilisable," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 7(1), pages 215-250.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolay Nenovsky & Pencho Penchev, 2016. "Money without a State: Currencies of the Orthodox Christians in the Balkan Provinces of the Ottoman Empire (17th –19th centuries)," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 33-51, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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