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The Theory of Monetary Institutions [Paperback]

by Lawrence White
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 18, 1999 0631212140 978-0631212140 1
The Theory of Monetary Institutions covers free banking monetary thought and a theoretical account of the evolution of monetary institutions.

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Editorial Reviews


"The Theory of Monetary Institutions is a thorough and insightful treatment of the emergence and evolution of money and banking regimes. Professor White's brilliant exposition of alternative regimes is innovative and sheds a great deal of light upon the crucial features of contemporary money and banking institutions. This tour-de-force is a 'must-read'." Steve H. Hanke, The John Hopkins University

"Larry White's The Theory of Monetary Institutions provides a very clear, extremely readable and up-to-date overview of monetary theory. White provides a uniquely insightful perspective into a difficult and controversial area, and his arguments and analysis are unbeatable. All monetary economists should read it." Kevin Dowd, University of Sheffield

"White has written an academically rigorous text covering the theory of money, banking, and monetary policy. The text stands out from others in the way it describes the evolution of economists' thinking about monetary institutions. White excels in combining the historic with the contemporary, the abstract with the tangible, and the theoretical with the practical. The chapters on alternative monetary regimes will no doubt challenge many widely-held views about the proper role of government within an economy's monetary system." James A. Overdahl

"Lawrence H. White has emerged as one of the most thoughtful monetary economists of his generation, and The Theory of Monetary Institutions fills an important lacuna in the literature. The book is mature and balanced; its encyclopedic knowledge of the literature covers a far broader range of material than conventional texts. I am aware of no other book that does such a superb job of placing institutional arrangements in theoretical and historical perspective." Hugh Rockoff, Rutgers University

From the Back Cover

The Theory of Monetary Institutions analyzes the often overlooked - but fundamental - questions about monetary policy regimes:

  • How and why have monetary institutions evolved into their present forms?

  • What are the leading arguments for and against government involvement in money and banking?

  • What models do we have for explaining how monetary authorities choose to behave in a discretionary fiat money regime, and how well do they fit?

  • What alternatives to the current regime are available, and how would they work?

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (June 18, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631212140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631212140
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,065,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. My latest book, The Clash of Economic Ideas, combines my interests in economic history and the history of economic thought. My earlier books discuss the theory and history of banking and money. I have been teaching for about thirty years, including stints at New York University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri - St. Louis, before moving to my current position in 2009. My wife is Neera K. Badhwar, a philosopher.

I enjoy giving talks about economic issues across the United States and around the world. In recent years I have been a regular speaker at the summer seminars of the American Institute for Economic Research and the Foundation for Economic Education. I am a co-editor of the online journal Econ Journal Watch, and I host bi-monthly podcasts for EJW Audio.

My GMU personal webpage is You can Google "Lawrence H. White" to find many videos of me giving talks and interviews.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Comprehensive Book July 25, 2000
By A Customer
A great book. It is very comprehensive and written in a simple way (regarding the complexity of the themes it deals with). The investigation is very objective, it uses sound theoretical analysis and different mathematical models (which he explains in relatively simple terms), contrasting them with the historical evidence and empirical data. It treats the history and development of money (from commodity money to fiat money), and monetary institutions, doing an exceptional analysis of the gold standard, its costs and benefits. It also analyzes the role of Central Bank's in money and banking, and uses various models used to try to explain the Central Bank's behavior, according to different goals that Central Banks may have. Finally, it discusses alternative monetary proposals from Friedman to Yeager, with its pros and cons. In conclusion, a great book to update and deepen your knowledge about money and banking.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graduate Monetary Theory May 7, 2005
This book prepares a student with the background for several relevant debates in monetary theory. Written by Dr. White to cover the material he presents in a semester graduate lecture, this book has the best of both scope and detail. He builds a solid background with Mengerian foundations of money. Then he thoroughly builds a scheme of understanding monetary policy in a gold-backed system. Once this is accomplished, modern financial market complexities are built on top of the books over-arching analysis. Topics made clear include Inflationary bias (Barrow, Gordon, Kyland, and Prescott), hyperinflation, rules vs. discretion, bank deposit insurance, and many other central bank policies which can be difficult without proper guidance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! October 7, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great read fairly easy to understand, really makes you rethink Central Banking! Larry White is an encyclopedia of monetary history.
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