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Carl Menger’s “Money” and the Current Neoclassical Models of Money


  • Stefan W. Schmitz

    (ICE, Austrian Academy of Sciences)


The paper analyzes three neoclassical models of money with emphasis on the equilibrium concepts employed. It is argued that the neoclassical theories fail to analyze the emergence of the social institution of money. Instead, they focus on the consistency of individual decisions regarding the rational acceptability of intrinsically worthless objects given the social institution of money and the Pareto superiority of the allocations in monetary vis-à-vis barter economies. The equilibrium concepts employed by neoclassical theories are not suitable for the study of the emergence of new electronic payment systems. Instead, a theory of the emergence of social institutions, of institutional change is required: the Mengerian method of institutional analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan W. Schmitz, 2002. "Carl Menger’s “Money” and the Current Neoclassical Models of Money," Macroeconomics 0211001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0211001 Note: Substantially revised version will be published in M. Latzer, S. W. Schmitz (eds.), Carl Menger and the Evolution of Payments Systems: From Barter to Electronic Money, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, Type of Document - pdf; prepared on wordfile on mac; pages: 35; figures: none

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barnett William A. & He Yijun, 1999. "Stability Analysis of Continuous-Time Macroeconometric Systems," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 1-22, January.
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    3. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1985. "On Endogenous Competitive Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 995-1045, September.
    4. Herbert E. Scarf, 1959. "Some Examples of Global Instability of the Competitive Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 79, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Barnett, William A. & He, Yijun, 2002. "Stabilization Policy As Bifurcation Selection: Would Stabilization Policy Work If The Economy Really Were Unstable?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(05), pages 713-747, November.
    6. Boldrin, Michele & Woodford, Michael, 1990. "Equilibrium models displaying endogenous fluctuations and chaos : A survey," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 189-222, March.
    7. Engelbert Dockner & Gustav Feichtinger, 1991. "On the optimality of limit cycles in dynamic economic systems," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 31-50, February.
    8. William A. Barnett & Yijun He, 2004. "New Phenomena Identified in a Stochastic Dynamic Macroeconometric Model: A Bifurcation Perspective," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 145, Society for Computational Economics.
    9. Benhabib, Jess & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1979. "The hopf bifurcation and the existence and stability of closed orbits in multisector models of optimal economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 421-444, December.
    10. Bala, Venkatesh & Majumdar, Mukul, 1992. "Chaotic Tatonnement," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 2(4), pages 437-445, October.
    11. Luenberger, David G & Arbel, Ami, 1977. "Singular Dynamic Leontief Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 991-995, May.
    12. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:5:p:713-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Venkatesh Bala, 1997. "A pitchfork bifurcation in the tatonnement process," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 10(3), pages 521-530.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guang-Zhen Sun, 2005. "A Review Of Selected Literature In The Economics Of Division Of Labor From 5th Century To Wwii: Part I," Monash Economics Working Papers 01/05, Monash University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Electronic money; monetary theory; Menger;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology

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