The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 115–120 | Cite as

Alchian and Menger on Money

  • Charles W. Baird


Carl Menger and Armen Alchian told stories of the emergence of money as a spontaneous order involving two types of costs—costs of recognizing attributes of goods and costs of finding willing exchange partners. Menger assumed that the first are zero and the second are positive. Alchian assumed the opposite. In the real world both types of costs are positive, so a truly satisfactory story of the emergence of money as a spontaneous order has yet to be written. This is another example of the complementarity of work done by some Austrian and some neoclassical economists.


Real World Public Finance Neoclassical Economist Exchange Partner Spontaneous Order 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles W. Baird
    • 1
  1. 1.The Smith CenterCalifornia State UniversityHaywardUSA

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