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A Fiscal Theory of Government's Role in Money

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  • Selgin, George
  • White, Lawrence H

Abstract

As an alternative to market failure explanations, the authors draw on theory and historical evidence to argue that fiscal considerations explain the roles governments typically play in producing and regulating money. Public monopoly production of coins and banknotes, substitution of fiat for commodity standards, and restrictions on substitutes for government money all generate revenue and especially provide means for meeting fiscal emergencies. The authors argue that these arrangements do not reflect conscious design so much as the evolutionary survival of the fiscally advantageous. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Selgin, George & White, Lawrence H, 1999. "A Fiscal Theory of Government's Role in Money," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 154-165, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:37:y:1999:i:1:p:154-65
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    Cited by:

    1. Miller, Stephen Matteo, 2016. "When and why hyperinflating monetary authorities abandon a currency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 11-14.
    2. George Selgin, 2012. "Mere quibbles: Bagus and Howden’s critique of the theory of free banking," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 131-148, June.
    3. Alexander Fink, 2014. "Free banking as an evolving system: The case of Switzerland reconsidered," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 57-69, March.
    4. repec:kap:copoec:v:28:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10602-016-9223-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Richard E. Wagner, 2012. "Deficits, Debt, and Democracy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14477.
    6. George Selgin, 2003. "Adaptive Learning and the Transition to Fiat Money," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 147-165, January.

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