Table of Contents

Contemporary Post Keynesian Analysis

Contemporary Post Keynesian Analysis

Edited by L. Randall Wray and Mathew Forstater

Original articles by leading scholars of post Keynesian economics make up this authoritative collection. Current topics of the greatest interest are covered, such as: perspectives on current economic policy; post Keynesian approaches to monetary theory and policy; economic development, growth and inflation; Kaleckian perspectives on distribution; economic methodology; and history of heterodox economic theory. The contributors explore a variety of prevailing issues including: wage bargaining and monetary policy in the EMU; the meaning of money in the internet age; stability conditions for small open economies; and economic policies of sustainable development in countries transitioning to a market economy. Other enduring matters are examined through the lens of economic theorists – Kaleckian dynamics and evolutionary life cycles; a comparison between Keynes’s and Hayek’s economic theories; and an analysis of the power of the firm based on the work of Joan Robinson, to name a few.

Chapter 5: Understanding the Implications of Money Being a Social Convention

Thomas A. Swanke

Subjects: economics and finance, post-keynesian economics


Thomas A. Swanke INTRODUCTION It is well known that many different objects have functioned as money. Money also fulfills many roles in the economy, and society. Yet, the attempts to define money seem to flounder on these observations, rather than reveling in explaining the reasons that these observations seem to be true. In fact, money is many different things to different people. Some see money as a means of transactions; others see it as an object of study. Money has many levels, they can be practical, emotional, theoretical or the subject of inner or overt desires. One way to explain all these different aspects of money, and what it means, is considering money as a socially created social convention. The view that money is a socially constructed social convention explains many of the characteristics of money listed above. There are four reasons to believe that money is a socially created social convention. Along the way we will briefly examine the ways that customs, norms, social contracts, social conventions and the social creation of reality impact on the functioning of money. Lastly, we turn to the reasons that the neo-Chartalist view of money, by itself, does not explain why money works. MONEY AS A SOCIAL CONVENTION Money is a social convention for several reasons. There are many similar definitions of social conventions. Lewis (1969, p. 78) argues that: a regularity in behavior of members of a population when they are agents in a recurrent situation is a...

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