IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Emergence Of Money In Commodity Exchange, Or Money As Monopolist Of The Ability To Buy



    () (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)


Money's emergence in commodity exchange remains a unresolved issue within economic theory. Current general equilibrium models, drawing on Menger, offer an explanation that rests on the economic advantages of a universally accepted means of exchange that is established through ‘social custom’. This is problematic because it does not fully explain money’s unique ability to buy, and leaves out of account the social foundations of the customary practices required for money’s emergence. An alternative explanation is given here, drawing on Marx’s theory of value but involving a thorough reworking of it. Money is shown to be the monopolist of the ability to buy. 'Social custom' plays a vital role in its emergence, but has determinants that are consistent with the social underpinnings of markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Costas Lapavitsas, 2002. "The Emergence Of Money In Commodity Exchange, Or Money As Monopolist Of The Ability To Buy," Working Papers 126, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:126

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gerald P. O'Driscoll, Jr., 1986. "Money: Menger's Evolutionary Theory," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 601-616, Winter.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Oh, Seonghwan, 1989. "A theory of a generally acceptable medium of exchange and barter," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 101-119, January.
    5. Niehans, Jurg, 1969. "Money in a Static Theory of Optimal Payment Arrangements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(4), pages 706-726, November.
    6. White, Lawrence H, 1984. "Competitive Payments Systems and the Unit of Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 699-712, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:126. 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: (Duo QIN). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.