Interdisciplinary Workshop on Either Side of Money Economic Theory

Friday 18 September 2009 - Saturday 19 September 2009

Interdisciplinary Workshop
on Either Side of Money Economic Theory (1)

18-19 September 2009
conferences room , bâtiment B
Université Paris Ouest - Nanterre La Défense

Preliminary program

Friday 18th September 2009

9:00 : Welcome

11:30 : Coffee break

12:45 : Lunch

  • 14:00 : Anders Ogren, EHFF/SSE Stockholm and Paris-Ouest-Nanterre
    "On the origins of Money - an Intersection Between Ideas and Practice in History" (co-authored by Carl Wennerlind)
  • 15:00 : Mariana Rojas Breu, University of Paris-Ouest-Nanterre
    "Competing fiat currencies and debt enforcement"

16:00 : Coffee break

Saturday 19th September 2009

11:30 : Coffee break

12:45 : Lunch


Money – its existence and its properties – is a common concern for social scientists, economists included. But economists and other social scientists scarcely meet and debate together on the state of the art in their respective disciplines. When they do, a lack of reciprocal knowledge makes discussion difficult and not free of misunderstandings. Economists are not the sole to be blamed. As specialization in research is increasing it is more and more difficult for each of us to keep an eye on what is going on in other disciplines. This is especially true for economics.

Economic theory has experienced deep transformations in the field during the last 20 years. The existence of a monetary equilibrium has been proved for the first time with money conceived as an intermediary of exchange (Iwai, Kiyotaki & Wright, etc.). Many traditional views have been restated in new terms, thanks to search-theoretic approach. Money finds a room in economy as a remedy either to barter inconveniences or to private information on commodities (Williamson & Wright) or to an impossibility of commitment (Kiyotaki & Moore) or to an absence of a record-keeping device (Kocherlakota), etc. Essentiality of money (Wallace) is now a prerequisite for any proposition about the properties of monetary equilibria (neutrality, optimality, etc.). Studying money along these lines economists have dealt with themes usually treated by social scientists, as social norms (Araujo), gift economies (Kocherlakota) to say nothing about trust. Have they built a bridge between economics and other social sciences or have they simply invaded and colonized sociology and anthropology? How worth are the recent advances in money economic theory from the point of view of social sciences at large?

The purpose of the workshop, whose title alludes to Georg Simmel, is to allow economists working along the new trends in money theory to meet social scientists working along their own lines (or the other way round). Not only a better reciprocal knowledge will result from such a confrontation but also a more precise assessment of what has been done in a recent past and, hopefully, some cross-fertilization in the future.

Contact: Jean Cartelier jean.cartelier(at) - replace (at) par @

(1) Georg Simmel, Philosophy of Money, p. 54

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