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Denationalisation of Money: The Argument Refined

  • Denationalisation of Money by F. A. Hayek

Tags Monetary Theory

10/15/1990Friedrich A. Hayek

An Analysis of the Theory and Practice of Concurrent Currencies

What if the government let anyone use a currency of his or her choosing? What if the government permitted entrepreneurs to innovate in the monetary sector, such as by creating digital currencies or minting commodity money?

This is precisely what F.A. Hayek argues.

By special arrangement with the Institute for Economic Affairs, the Mises Institute is pleased to offer a new printing of F.A. Hayek's most radical case for the complete privatization of money: The Denationalisation of Money. He wrote this near the end of his career, after thinking through all the economic arguments for monetary reform and examining the political viability of various proposals. He shows the essential unviability of government money, and calls for a complete free market in the production and distribution and management of money.

This book is the very core of the Hayekian approach to monetary policy, and the book that drew the world's attention to this radical thinker following his Nobel Prize in economics. The argument is substantively similar to Mises's but rather than a gold standard, Hayek argues for completely abandoning government attempts to reform money. The result would be competitive private currencies that permits the market alone to choose the dominant currency the world over.

In the digital age, his argument takes on new significance, as experimentation in digital currencies continues apace.


Friedrich A. Hayek

F. A. Hayek (1899–1992) is undoubtedly the most eminent of the modern Austrian economists, and a founding board member of the Mises Institute. Student of Friedrich von Wieser, protégé and colleague of Ludwig von Mises, and foremost representative of an outstanding generation of Austrian School theorists, Hayek was more successful than anyone else in spreading Austrian ideas throughout the English-speaking world. He shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics with ideological rival Gunnar Myrdal "for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena."  Among mainstream economists, he is mainly known for his popular The Road to Serfdom  (1944).


Institute of Economic Affairs, 1990

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