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Competitive Bank Monies: Reconsidering Hayek and Klein from a Transactions Perspective



In this paper the case made by Klein (1975) and Hayek (1976) for competitive bank monies is reconsidered. To do so we build a model of the demand for bank money that derives from money’s ability to separate commodity purchases from sales across time and so avoid the trading costs implied by barter and the double coincidence of wants. Such a model allows us to view the bank cheating or time inconsistency problem alleged to undermine the case for free banking as part of a larger concern with the creation and maintenance of bank quality in a competitive banking environment. As such it helps to further refine the circumstances under which competition is and is not consistent with optimal money provision and stable money prices.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Stephen Ferris, 2003. "Competitive Bank Monies: Reconsidering Hayek and Klein from a Transactions Perspective," Carleton Economic Papers 03-02, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:03-02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joel Fried, 1973. "Money, Exchange And Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(3), pages 285-301, September.
    2. J. S. Ferris & J. A. Galbraith, 2003. "Indirect convertibility as a money rule for inflation targeting," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(10), pages 753-761.
    3. Ritter, Joseph A, 1995. "The Transition from Barter to Fiat Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 134-149, March.
    4. Jones, Robert A, 1976. "The Origin and Development of Media of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 757-775, August.
    5. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
    6. Saving, Thomas R, 1971. "Transactions Costs and the Demand for Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 407-420, June.
    7. J. Stephen Ferris, 1981. "A Transactions Theory of Trade Credit Use," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(2), pages 243-270.
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    More about this item


    Competition in Banking; Free Banking; monetary credibility; Bank quality;

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System

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