Transaction Costs, Money and Units of Account
In the paper, an analogy with length measurement is applied in order to explore the nature of the unit for value measurement, i.e. the unit of account. As the meter is defined as the length traveled by light in vacuum during 1/299 792 458 of a second, the unit of account krona is defined as the purchasing power of the medium of exchange krona. However, one should be cautious when drawing conclusions from this analogy. Our unit of account is defined in our medium of exchange, but it is meaningful only because we can observe prices on real goods expressed in it. As it would be pointless to define the meter as the length traveled by light in vacuum during 1/299 792 458 of a second if we could not compare this length with anything else, it would be pointless to define our unit of account in something that is not priced. In the paper it is explained how different payment techniques help to overcome transaction costs in the market. In particular, following Alchian (1977), it is argued that to reap the full benefit from the use of payment techniques, it has to be combined with the use of both a unit of account and specialist middlemen. The use of payment techniques helps to reduce costs due to sequential payment, but to reduce costs due to sequential quality evaluation, you need unit of account as well as reputable middlemen.
|Date of creation:||16 May 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden|
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Townsend, Robert M, 1989. "Currency and Credit in a Private Information Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1323-1344, December.
- Woodford, Michael, 2000.
"Monetary Policy in a World without Money,"
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 229-260, July.
- Clower, Robert W, 1995. "On the Origin of Monetary Exchange," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(4), pages 525-536, October.
- M. Pohl, 1994. "Handbook On The History Of European Banks," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 204.
- Alchian, Armen A, 1977. "Why Money?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 9(1), pages 133-140, February.
- Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
- Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Randall Wright, 1989.
"A contribution to the pure theory of money,"
123, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-954, August.
- Bengtsson, Ingemar, 2005. "Central bank power is a matter of faith," Working Papers 2005:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2005_029. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Edgerton)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.