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Learning to choose a commodity-money: Carl Menger's theory of imitation and the search monetary framework

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  • Andres Alvarez

Abstract

This paper studies Carl Menger's theory of the emergence of a commodity money. We propose an interpretation of Menger's learning by imitation process based on the search theoretical formal framework. We show that there exists a tension between the importance of intrinsic properties of commodities and the pure conventional self-fulfilling expectations of agents. This confirms the role of imitation in the emergence of monetary equilibria in search theory. We conclude that Menger's approach may support the idea that the fundamental property of a commodity-money (namely its great liquidity) is the result of its emergence process and not necessarily of its original intrinsic properties.

Suggested Citation

  • Andres Alvarez, 2004. "Learning to choose a commodity-money: Carl Menger's theory of imitation and the search monetary framework," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 53-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:11:y:2004:i:1:p:53-78
    DOI: 10.1080/0967256032000171506
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-141, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilbert Bougi, 2005. "Pourquoi le problème monétaire de Menger reste-t-il non résolu?," CAE Working Papers 31, Aix-Marseille Université, CERGAM.
    2. Eduard Braun, 2015. "Carl Menger’s Contribution to Capital Theory," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 23(1), pages 77-100.
    3. Claire Pignol, 2010. "Money, exchange and division of labour in Rousseau's economic philosophy," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 199-228.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Carl Menger; search; money; evolution; imitation;

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