Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on December 26, 2011

in Competition, Complexity & Emergence, Inflation, Monetary Policy

… is from page 257 of Vol. I of The Collected Works of Armen A. Alchian; specifically, it is from Alchian’s 1976 article “Problems of Rising Prices”:

One monopoly, the government monopoly of the supply of legal base money, does indeed permit inflation.  Without that monopoly, with open competition in the creation of separate, identifiable brands of money, it can be argued very cogently and persuasively that inflation would be avoided.  Suppliers of money, each producing a different brand of money, would compete to produce the best money – a noninflating one.

Indeed.  See, for example, George Selgin’s and Larry White’s 1994 article in the Journal of Economic Literature.

I’ve said it many time before, and I’ll say it many times in the future: Alchian, Harold Demsetz, and Gordon Tullock are the three living economists who most deserve, but who have yet to receive, the Nobel Prize in Economics.  Indeed, each of these three pioneering scholars deserves that Prize far more than do many economists who have won it.

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