On Money As an Institution

A review essay on Luca Fantacci (2005) La moneta: Storia di un’istituzione mancata (Money: History of a Missing Institution) (Venezia: Biblioteca Marsilio).

Abstract: In this paper I am going to explore some of the major theoretical concepts and ideas in Luca Fantacci’s work devoted to the history of money. As a historical check on Fantacci’s theory I will present various moments in Russian monetary history interpreted in the light of the ideas of the La moneta: storia di un’instituzione mancata. I will compare Fantacci’s theory of division between the unit of account and the medium of exchange with those of Walther Eucken and the Austrian School as well as of some other contemporary authors. A new institutional reading of the evolution of money “money as an institutional compound” is proposed.