The Evolution of a Free Banking System
The institutional features of models of unregulated monetary systems have often been arbitrarily and implausibly assumed. This pap er instead provides realistic grounding for important features by con structing a logical evolutionary account of free banking. Sophisticat ed and orderly arrangements are shown to emerge from competition and the pursuit of less costly methods of payment. The emergence of stand ardized commodity money is followed by the development, in turn, of b asic money-transfer banking, easily transferable bank liabilities, an d clearinghouses. The features of an evolved free banking system diff er from those assumed in recent models of competitive payments system s. Copyright 1987 by Oxford University Press.
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