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Money as meta-rule: Buchanan’s constitutional economics as a foundation for monetary stability

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  • Peter J. Boettke

    () (George Mason University)

  • Alexander W. Salter

    () (Texas Tech University)

  • Daniel J. Smith

    () (Middle Tennessee State University)

Abstract

Abstract This paper explores James Buchanan’s contributions to monetary economics and argues these contributions form the foundation of a robust monetary economics paradigm. While often not recognized for his contributions to monetary economics, Buchanan’s scholarship offers important insights for current debates, especially the renewed interest in narrow banking in the wake of the financial crisis. We argue that the post-2007 crisis milieu creates a unique opportunity to recognize, as Buchanan did, the vital role that money plays in the market as the ‘grammar of commerce.’ That recognition makes the need for more fundamental reform of our monetary regimes at the constitutional level more apparent, making Buchanan’s work on monetary constitutions more relevant than ever before. We then discuss how adopting Buchanan’s monetary framework can improve both monetary scholarship and institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter J. Boettke & Alexander W. Salter & Daniel J. Smith, 2018. "Money as meta-rule: Buchanan’s constitutional economics as a foundation for monetary stability," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 176(3), pages 529-555, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:176:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-018-0580-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-018-0580-y
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    Cited by:

    1. Van Den Hauwe, Ludwig, 2017. "Monetary Constitutionalism: Some Recent Developments," MPRA Paper 83052, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Keywords

    Central banking; James M. Buchanan; Monetary constitution; Monetary stability; Federal reserve; Rules versus discretion;

    JEL classification:

    • B2 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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