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Quasi-Commodity Money

Yeah, I know: it's been so long since I posted here that you'd have a right to wonder whether I decided to quit economics and enter a monastery, or had simply dropped dead.

In fact I've done neither, though I've had reason enough to be tempted by each of those alternative prospects. You see, we are hiring several new faculty here at UGA, and that has meant being almost constantly engaged in either interviewing or hearing presentations by prospective new faculty members, or attending meetings concerning the merits of various candidates. Add a full teaching load, a heavy travel schedule, and the fact that I am employed by one of those unenlightened econ departments that doesn't give a toss about blogging, but does insist on having its faculty publish articles in refereed journals that are so spectacularly famous that even some business school deans have heard of them, and you will perhaps be willing to forgive my absence from this forum.

So in my precious spare time between seminars and all that I've been working on some articles, which I am now pleased to share with my fellow free banking enthusiasts. The first is this article, prepared for an upcoming Liberty Fund colloquium revisiting In Search of A Monetary Constitution, a classic 1962 collection edited by Leland Yeager and including contributions by Rothbard, Buchanan, and Friedman, among other notables.

Here's the abstract:

"This paper considers reform possibilities posed by a type of base money that has heretofore been overlooked in the literature on monetary economics. I call this sort of money 'quasi-commodity money' because it shares features with both commodity money and fiat money, as these are usually defined, without fitting the conventional definition of either; examples of such money are Bitcoin and the 'Swiss dinars' that served as the currency of northern Iraq for over a decade. I argue that the attributes of quasi-commodity money are such as might supply the basis for a monetary regime that does not require oversight by any monetary authority, yet is capable of providing for all such changes in the money stock as may be needed to achieve a high degree of macroeconomic stability."

Comments and suggested improvements are, of course, very welcome.

Got to run: I hear the bell's chiming.