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Why is there Money?

Walrasian General Equilibrium Foundations of Monetary Theory Ross M. Starr, University of California, San Diego, US
The microeconomic foundation of the theory of money has long represented a puzzle to economic theory. Why is there Money? derives the foundations of monetary theory from advanced price theory in a mathematically precise family of trading post models.
Extent: 176 pp
Hardback Price: $111.00 Web: $99.90
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978 1 84844 856 8
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $44.00 Web: $35.20
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 1 78100 291 9
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  • Economics and Finance
  • History of Economic Thought
  • Money and Banking
The microeconomic foundation of the theory of money has long represented a puzzle to economic theory. Why is there Money? derives the foundations of monetary theory from advanced price theory in a mathematically precise family of trading post models.

It has long been recognized that the fundamental theoretical analysis of a market economy is embodied in the Arrow-Debreu-Walras mathematical general equilibrium model, with one great deficiency: the analysis cannot accommodate money and financial institutions. In this groundbreaking book, Ross M. Starr addresses this problem directly, by expanding the Arrow-Debreu model to include a multiplicity of trading opportunities, with the resultant endogenous derivation of money as the carrier of value among them. This fundamental breakthrough is achieved while maintaining the Walrasian general equilibrium price-theoretic structure, augmented primarily by the introduction of separate bid and ask prices reflecting transaction costs. The result is foundations of monetary theory consistent with and derived from modern price theory.

This fascinating book will provide a stimulating and thought-provoking read for academics and postgraduate students focusing on economics, macroeconomics, macroeconomic policy and finance, money and banking. Central bankers will also find much to interest them within this book.
‘Starr’s brilliant little volume is the latest of a long line of attempts to integrate money and price (general equilibrium) theory. Within 160 pages and 14 dense chapters, the author synthesizes forty years of careful and painstaking research. He sets them against the background not only of the tradition inaugurated by Walras and carried on by Pareto, Hicks, Patinkin, Samuelson, Clower, Hahn, Kyotaki and Wright (to name but a few) but also of the no-less famous conflict between trust and authority at the origin of money (Frankel, 1977). Hence, and before discussing Starr’s trading post model, it seems not out of place to recall briefly the analytical history of these two central riddles in monetary theory.’
– Œconomia – History/Methodology/Philosophy

‘This book makes compelling reading for anyone interested in exploring the foundations of monetary theory from a rigorous general equilibrium perspective.’
– Gabriele Camera, Purdue University, US

‘Introducing the Arrow-Debreu-Starr model of monetary general equilibrium, Professor Starr provides the best defense ever made for the relevance of the Walrasian model to the pure theory of money. While most monetary theorists ventured to the overlapping generations model and then to the search model, only to create recently a hybrid search-Walrasian model, Starr presents the culmination of a patient, career-long effort to integrate money into the basic Walrasian model, with realistic taxation critically helping the government’s money to dominate.’
– Dror Goldberg, Bar Ilan University, Israel
Contents: Introduction: Why is There No Money? 1. Why is There Money? 2. An Economy Without Money 3. The Trading Post Model 4. An Elementary Linear Example: Liquidity Creates Money 5. Absence of Double Coincidence of Wants is Essential to Monetization in a Linear Economy 6. Uniqueness of Money: Scale Economy and Network Externality 7. Monetization of General Equilibrium 8. Government-Issued Fiat Money 9. Efficient Structure of Exchange 10. Microfoundations of Jevons’s Double Coincidence Condition 11. Commodity Money Equilibrium in a Convex Trading Post Economy 12. Efficiency of Commodity Money Equilibrium 13. Alternative Models 14. Conclusion and a Research Agenda Bibliography Index