Table of Contents

A Handbook of Alternative Monetary Economics

A Handbook of Alternative Monetary Economics

Elgar original reference

Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer

This major Handbook consists of 29 contributions that explore the full range of exciting and interesting work on money and finance currently taking place within heterodox economics. There are many themes and facets of alternative monetary and financial economics but two major ones can be identified.

Chapter 9: Keynes and Money

Paul Davidson

Subjects: economics and finance, financial economics and regulation, money and banking, post-keynesian economics


Paul Davidson Introduction John Maynard Keynes was probably the most important and famous economist of the twentieth century. Keynes was primarily a specialist in monetary theory. The words money, monetary, currency appear in the title of all Keynes’s major books on economic theory. His conceptualization of money, however, differs significantly from that of classical economic theory, while the latter has dominated mainstream economists’ thought from the eighteenth century to today. The purpose of this chapter is to explain why Keynes’s conceptualization of money is revolutionary. ‘Money’, Nobel laureate John R. Hicks (1967, p. 1) declared, ‘is defined by its functions . . . money is what money does’. While economists have spilled more printers’ ink over the topic of money than any other, confusion over the meaning and nature of money continues to plague the economics profession. A clear, unambiguous taxonomy is essential for good scientific inquiry. All useful classification schemes in science require the scientist to categorize entities by their essential functions and properties. For example, even though a whale looks like a fish, swims like a fish, and will die (like a fish) if it is out of water too long, biologists classify whales as mammals not fish because whales suckle their young. Even though the uninstructed person may think a whale is more similar to a fish than to his/her own mammalian self, biologists classify whales according to an essential property and not to similarity in looks. If a successful scientific taxonomy is to...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information