The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • James Tobin
Reference work entry


Among the conventions of almost every human society of historical record has been the use of money, that is, particular commodities or tokens as measures of value and media of exchange in economic transactions. Somehow the members of a society agree on what will be acceptable tender in making payments and settling debts among themselves. General agreement to the convention, not the particular media agreed upon, is the source of money’s immense value to the society. In this respect money is similar to language, standard time, or the convention designating the side of the road for passing.


Silver standard Numeraire Free banking 

JEL Classification

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Authors and Affiliations

  • James Tobin
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