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Barter and the Origin of Money and Some Insights from the Ancient Palatial Economies of Mesopotamia and Egypt

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  • Serge Svizzero

    (CEMOI - Centre d'Économie et de Management de l'Océan Indien - UR - Université de La Réunion)

  • Clement Tisdell

Abstract

The "Metallist" origin of money, used as a medium of exchange, is based on the presumed low efficiency of barter. However, barter is usually ill-defined and archaeological evidence about it is inconclusive. Moreover, the transaction costs associated with barter seem to have been exaggerated by metallists. Indeed, the introduction of a unit of account reduces the complexity of the relative prices system usually associated with barter. Similarly, in-kind transactions have timing constraints which are often labeled as "the double coincidence of wants"; with a system of debt and credit, delayed exchange, that is lending, is possible. Such adaptability of barter is confirmed by the study of Mesopotamian and ancient Egyptian palatial economies. They provide evidence that non-monetary transactions have persisted during millennia, challenging the metallist vision about the origin of money.
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  • Serge Svizzero & Clement Tisdell, 2019. "Barter and the Origin of Money and Some Insights from the Ancient Palatial Economies of Mesopotamia and Egypt," Working Papers hal-02274856, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-02274856
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02274856
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    2. Tisdell, Clem, 2014. "Information Technology's Impacts on Productivity, Welfare and Social Change: Second Version," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 195701, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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    26. Tisdell, Clement A., 2009. "Economic Challenges Faced by Small Island Economies: An Overview," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90627, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    27. Clement A. Tisdell, 2017. "Bounded Rationality, Satisficing and the Evolution of Economic Thought," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 264873, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    28. Tisdell, Clement A., 2004. "Tourism Development as a Dimension of Globalisation: Experiences and Policies of China and Australia," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90535, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    29. Gao, Zhicun & Tisdell, Clement A., 2004. "Television Production: Its Changing Global Location, the Product Cycle and China," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90530, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    30. Tisdell, Clement A., 2008. "Economic Benefits and Drawbacks of Cities and their Growth," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90615, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    31. Tisdell, Clement A., 2006. "Economic Prospects for Small Island Economies, Particularly in the South Pacific, in a Globalising World," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90547, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    32. Tisdell, Clement A., 2005. "Economic Globalisation: The Process and its Potential, Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90539, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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    34. Tisdell, Clement A. & Alauddin, Mohammad, 2002. "Market-Oriented Reforms in Bangladesh and their Impact on Poverty?," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90521, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    35. Serge Svizzero & Clement Allan Tisdell, 2014. "Inequality and Wealth Creation in Ancient History: Malthus’ Theory Reconsidered," Post-Print hal-02153096, HAL.
    36. Tisdell, Clem & Seidl, Irmi, 2004. "Niches and economic competition: implications for economic efficiency, growth and diversity," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 119-135, June.
    37. Tisdell, Clement A., 2008. "Trust and its Implications for Economic Activity, Welfare and Globalisation," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90617, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    38. Adam, Latif & Tisdell, Clement A., 2008. "Interfirm Networks in the Indonesian Garment Industry: Trust and Other Factors in their Formation and Duration and their Marketing Consequences," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90616, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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    41. Tisdell, Clement A., 2010. "An Economic Study of Small Pigholders in Vietnam: Some Insights Gained and the Scope for Further Research," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90630, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    42. Tisdell, Clement A., 2008. "Structural Transformation in the Pig Sector in an Adjusting Vietnam Market: A Preliminary Investigation of Supply-side Changes," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90619, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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    45. Tisdell, Clement A., 2004. "Transaction Costs and Bounded Rationality - Implications for Public Administration and Economic Policy," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90531, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    46. Tisdell, Clement A., 2010. "Agricultural Development in Traditional Asian Economies: Observations Prompted by a Livestock Study in Vietnam," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90629, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    47. Tisdell, Clement A., 2001. "Sustainability: Can it be Achieved? Is Economics the Bottom Line?," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90512, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    48. Tisdell, Clement A. & Lapar, Ma. Lucila A. & Staal, Steven J. & Que, Nguyen Ngoc, 2009. "Natural Protection from International Competition in the Livestock Industry: Analysis, Examples and Vietnam's Pork Market as a Case," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90628, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    49. Bandara, Ranjith & Tisdell, Clement A., 2004. "Changing Abundance of Elephants and Willingness to Pay for their Conservation," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90538, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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    51. Tisdell, Clement A., 2001. "Externalities, Thresholds and the Marketing of New Aquacultural Products: Theory and Examples," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90468, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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