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Austrian Theory of Money, intro paper support

Austrian Theory of Money, intro paper support - The...

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The Austrian Theory of Money By Murray N. Rothbard [Reprinted from The Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics , Edwin Dolan, ed. (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, 1976), pp. 160-84.; The Logic of Action One: Method, Money, and the Austrian School (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 1997), pp. 297-320. The pagination on this edition corresponds to the Logic edition.] T he Austrian theory of money virtually begins and ends with Ludwig von Mises's monumental Theory of Money and Credit , published in 1912. 1 Mises's fundamental accomplishment was to take the theory of marginal utility, built up by Austrian economists and other marginalists as the explanation for consumer demand and market price, and apply it to the demand for and the value, or the price, of money. No longer did the theory of money need to be separated from the general economic theory of individual action and utility, of supply, demand, and price; no longer did monetary theory have to suffer isolation in a context of "velocities of circulation," "price levels," and "equations of exchange." In applying the analysis of supply and demand to money, Mises used the Wicksteedian concept: supply is the total stock of a commodity at any given time; and demand is the total market demand to gain and hold cash balances, built up out of the marginal-utility rankings of units of money on the value scales of individuals on the market. The Wicksteedian concept is particularly appropriate to money for several reasons: first, because the supply of money is either extremely durable in relation to current production, as under the gold standard, or is determined exogenously to the market by government authority; and, second and most important, because money, uniquely among commodities desired and demanded on the market, is acquired not to be consumed, but to be held for later exchange. Demand-to-hold thereby 1 Ludwig von Mises, Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel (1912); see the third English edition, The Theory of Money and Credit (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1953).
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The Austrian Theory of Money by Murray N. Rothbard 298 becomes the appropriate concept for analyzing the uniquely broad monetary function of being held as stock for later sale. Mises was also able to explain the demand for cash balances as the resultant of marginal utilities on value scales that are strictly ordinal for each individual. In the course of his analysis Mises built on the insight of his fellow Austrian Franz Cuhel to develop a marginal utility that was strictly ordinal, lexicographic, and purged of all traces of the error of assuming the measurability of utilities. The relative utilities of money units as against other goods determine each person's demand for cash balances, that is, how much of his income or wealth he will keep in cash balances as against how much he will spend. Applying the law of diminishing (ordinal) marginal utility of money and bearing in mind that money's "use" is to be held for future
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