By Ross M. Starr
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Extra resources for General Equilibrium Models of Monetary Economies. Studies in the Static Foundations of Monetary Theory
In m o d e r n civilized society the inconveniences of the primitive method of exchange are wholly u n k n o w n , and might almost seem to be imaginary. 56 BARTER Accustomed from o u r earliest years to the use of money, we are unconscious of the inestimable benefits which it confers upon us; and only when we recur to altogether different states of society can we realize the difficulties which arise in its absence. It is even surprising to be reminded that barter is actually the sole m e t h o d of c o m m e r c e among many uncivilized races.
P a t i n k i n [12, C h a p t e r 8] rightly objects t h a t spending on income account should be related to excess wealth, not excess money. If the mechanism is a real balance effect, then it works only when new money is also new p r i v a t e wealth, accumulated by the public as a result of government spending financed at the printing press or the mint. A mechanism more in the spirit of the a r g u m e n t s of Lavington, Pigou, and Hicks is t h a t owners of wealth with excess m o n e y holdings seek to restore the balance of their capital accounts.
They are said however to be the current money of the merchant, and yet are received by weight and not by tale, in the same m a n n e r as ingots of gold and bars of silver are at present. T h e revenues of the antient Saxon kings of England are said to have been paid, not in money but in kind, that is, in victuals and provisions of all sorts. William the C o n q u e r o r introduced the custom of paying them in money. This m o n e y , however, was, for a long time, received at the exchequer, by weight and not by tale.
General Equilibrium Models of Monetary Economies. Studies in the Static Foundations of Monetary Theory by Ross M. Starr