Written in the same year that he testified before the Currency Commission in Austria-Hungary, and published in English in 1892, Carl Menger explains that it is not government edicts that create money but instead the marketplace. Individuals decide what the most marketable good is for use as a medium of exchange. “Man himself is the beginning and the end of every economy,” Menger wrote, and so it is with deciding what is to be traded as money.
Money has not been generated by law. In its origin it is a social, and not a state institution. Sanction by the authority of the state is a notion alien to it.
Carl Menger founded the Austrian School of economics. Menger, along with Jevons and Walras, published a work in 1871 which revolutionized the way economists viewed value and price theory by introducing innovations in the theory of marginal utility. His work was profoundly influential in Europe, where it inspired the work of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek.
Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, 2009