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The Hierarchy of Money


  • Stephanie Bell

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)


This paper attempts to bring together several of Hyman Minsky's insights in order to suggest a relationship between the State's ability to tax and the money of the economy. Minsky recognized that money represents an IOU or promise to pay and that 'acceptability' is its important feature. He further recognized that the State can play an important role in determining whose IOUs will be accepted (both publicly and privately). I will argue that support for the Chartalist vision of money as a 'creature of the State' can be found in Minsky. Finally, I will apply the Chartalist theory to Minsky's notion of a 'hierarchy of money' in order to suggest that the State determines not only the unit in which all of the monies in the hierarchy are denominated but also influences the positioning of certain monies within the hierarchy.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie Bell, 1998. "The Hierarchy of Money," Macroeconomics 9805014, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9805014
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 25; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. L. R. Wray, 1990. "Money and Credit in Capitalist Economies," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 474, December.
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    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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