Sociological and Anthropological Perspectives of Monetary Economics and Cryptocurrency

Description

The 2008 economic downturn, alongside broad-scale information and communication technologies have led to a proliferation of imagination in the money form and its uses. This new imagination has brought many observers to reflect on basic yet exceptionally complex questions, such as: what is money? What are its everyday uses? And how have cryptocurrencies changed perceptions and uses of money?

This seminar addresses these questions by exploring sociological and anthropological perspectives of society and economy through various theoretical, historical, and ethnographic studies of money and cryptocurrency. Our discussions will include origins and sociologies of money, money as a commodity and as a form of credit, and money as a quantifiable and governable object. In the final weeks, we will look at various ways in which cryptocurrencies weave together society and economy as well as explore how governing institutions are attempting to make sense of this new money form.

Objectives

  • Understand the historical and social backgrounds of money and monetary theories
  • Gain a more in-depth understanding of the many forms of currency that exist today
  • Expand knowledge to develop more well-rounded approaches to cryptocurrency projects

Session 1 : Introductions

  • ‘Anthropology of Money’ Introduction
  • ‘Genealogy of Monetary Economics’ Introduction

Session 2 : Origins of Money

Required Readings

  • Ingham, Geoffrey. 2004. The Nature of Money — Chapter 5: The Historical Origins of Money
  • Dodd, Nigel. 2014. The Social Life of Money — Chapter 1: Origins

Supplement Readings

  • Menger, Carl. 1892. On the Origin of Money
  • Keynes, John Maynard. 1930. A Treatise on Money — Chapter 1: The Classification of Money
  • Hayek, F. A. 1931. Prices and Production — Lecture 1: Theories of the Influence of Money on Prices
  • Mauss, Marcel. 1950. The Gift — Introduction, Chapter 1: The Exchange of Gifts
  • Ingham, Geoffrey. 2004. The Nature of Money — Chapter 4: Fundamentals of Theory of Money
  • Aglietta, Michel. 2018. Money: 5,000 Years of Debt and Power — Chapter 3: From Ancient Empires to the Gold Standard
  • Skidelsky, Robert. 2018. Money and Government — Chapter 1: The Mysteries of Money

Session 3 : Sociologies of Money

Required Readings

  • Ingham, Geoffrey. 2004. The Nature of Money — Chapter 3: Money in Sociological Theory
  • Dodd, Nigel. 2014. The Social Life of Money — Chapter 7: Culture (Simon)

Supplement Readings

  • Simmel, Georg. 1900. Philosophy of Money — Chapter 1, Section 3: Economic Value as the Objectification of Subjective Values
  • Schumpeter, Joseph. 1912. The Theory of Economic Development
  • Bohannan, Paul. 1955. Some Principles of Exchange Among the Tiv
  • Dalton, George. 1965. Primitive Money
  • Polanyi, Karl. 1968. The Semantics of Money-Uses
  • Lachmann, Ludwig. 1978. Capital and Its Structure
  • Preface, Chapter 1: The Order of Capital
  • Zelizer, Viviana. 1989. The Social Meaning of Money: ‘Special Monies’
  • Parry, Jonathan and Maurice Bloch. 1989. Money and the Morality of Exchange — Introduction: Money and the Morality of Exchange
  • Schumpeter, Joseph. 1991. Money and Currency
  • Maurer, Bill. 2005. The Anthropology of Money
  • Hénaff, Marcel. 2010. The Price of Truth: Gift, Money, and Philosophy — Chapter 8: Ceremonial Money and Commercial Money
  • Bindewald, Leander. 2018. The Grammar of Money — Chapter 3: Conceptual framework - Money as a discursive institution

Session 4 : Money as Commodity

Required Readings

  • Ingham, Geoffrey. 2004. The Nature of Money — Chapter 1: Money as a Commodity
  • Dodd, Nigel. 2014. The Social Life of Money — Chapter 2: Capital (Simon)

Supplement Readings

  • Marx, Karl. 1867. Capital Volume I — Chapter 1, Section 3: The Form of Value or Exchange Value, Chapter 3, Section 3: Money
  • Taussig, Michael. 1977. The Genesis of Capitalism Amongst a South American Peasantry: Devil’s Labor and the Baptism of Money
  • Smithin, John, ed. 2000. What is Money? — Heinsohn, Gunnar and Otto Steiger. Chapter 4: The Property Theory of Interest and Money
  • Nabilou, Hossein and André Prüm. 2018. Ignorance, debt and cryptocurrencies: The old and the new in the law and economics of concurrent currencies

Session 5 : Money as Credit

Required Readings

  • Ingham, Geoffrey. 2004. The Nature of Money — Chapter 6: The Development of Capitalist Credit-Money
  • Dodd, Nigel. 2014. The Social Life of Money — Chapter 3: Debt

Supplement Readings

  • Keynes, John Maynard. 1930. A Treatise on Money — Chapter 2: Bank-Money
  • Schumpeter, Joseph. 1934. The Theory of Economic Development — Chapter 3: Credit and Capital
  • Ingham, Geoffrey. 2004. The Nature of Money — Chapter 7: The Production of Capitalist Credit-Money
  • Peebles, Gustav. 2010. The Anthropology of Credit and Debt
  • Graeber, David. 2014(2nd Edition). Debt: The First 5,000 Years — Chapter 2: The Myth of Barter
  • Lazzarato, Maurizio. 2015. Governing by Debt — Chapter 2: The American University - The Model of the Debt Society
  • Pettifor, Ann. 2017. The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Bankers — Chapter 2: The Creation of Money
  • BitMEX Research. 2018. Bitcoin Economics

Session 6 : The Quantity Theory of Money and Monetarism

Required Readings

  • Skidelsky, Robert. 2018. Money and Government — Chapter 3: The Quantity Theory of Money: From History to Science, Chapter 7: The Theory and Practice of Monetarism

Supplement Readings

  • Thornton, Henry. 1802. An Inquiry into the Nature and Effects of the Paper Credit of Great Britain — Chapter 3: Of circulating Paper
  • Fisher, Irving. 1911. The Purchasing Power of Money: its Determination and Relation to Credit, Interest and Crises — Chapter 2: Purchasing Power of Money as Related to the Equation of Exchange
  • Keynes, John Maynard. 1923. A Tract on Monetary Reform — Chapter 3, Section 1: The Quantity Theory of Money
  • Friedman, Milton. 1956. The Quantity Theory of Money — A Restatement
  • Friedman, Milton. 1992. Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History — Chapter 2: The Mystery of Money, Chapter 8: The Cause and Cure of Inflation
  • Burniske, Chris. 2017. Cryptoasset Valuations
  • Evans, Alex. 2018. On Value, Velocity and Monetary Theory — A New Approach to Cryptoasset Valuations
  • Ganesarajah, Sath. 2018. Building a Framework for Digital Currency Valuation
  • Mishkin, Frederic. 2019(12th Edition). The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets — Chapter 15: The Money Supply Process, Chapter 20: Quantity Theory, Inflation, and the Demand for Money

Session 7 : Money, the State, and ‘Modern Money Theory (MMT)’

Required Readings

  • Ingham, Geoffrey. 2004. The Nature of Money — Chapter 2: Abstract Value, Credit, and the State
  • Wray, L. Randall. 2015(2nd Edition). Modern Money Theory — Chapter 2: Spending by Issuer of Domestic Currency

Supplement Readings

  • Knapp, George Friedrich. 1924. The State Theory of Money — Chapter 1: Payment, Money and Metal
  • Hart, Keith. 1986. Heads or Tails? Two Sides of the Coin
  • Wray, L. Randall. 2015(2nd Edition). Modern Money Theory — Chapter 6: Modern Money Theory and Alternative Exchange Rate Regimes
  • Mitchell, William, L. Randall Wray and Martin Watts. 2016. Modern Monetary Theory and Practice: An Introductory Text — Chapter 6: Introduction to Sovereign Currency: The Government and its Money
  • Dalio, Ray. 2019. It’s Time to Look More Carefully at “Monetary Policy 3(MP3)” and “Modern Monetary Theory(MMT)”

Session 8 : The Embeddedness of Cryptocurrencies

Required Readings

  • Maurer, Bill, Taylor Nelms, and Lana Swartz. 2013. ‘When Perhaps the Real Problem Is Money Itself!’: The Practical Materiality of Bitcoin
  • Dodd, Nigel. 2018. The Social Life of Bitcoin

Supplement Readings

  • Karlstrom, Henrik. 2014. Do Libertarians Dream of Electric Coins? The Material Embeddedness of Bitcoin
  • Swartz, Lana. 2017. Blockchain Dreams: Imagining Techno-Economic Alternatives After Bitcoin
  • Zimmer, Zac. 2017. Bitcoin and Potosi Silver: Historical Perspectives on Cryptocurrency
  • Finn, Ed. 2017. What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing — Chapter 5: Counting Bitcoin
  • Corradi, Fiammetta. 2018. The Double Embeddedness of Bitcoin: Insights from Old and New Economic Sociology
  • Swartz, Lana. 2018. What Was Bitcoin, What Will It Be? The Techno-Economic Imaginaries of a New Money Technology
  • Calvao, Felipe. 2019. Crypto-Miners: Digital Labor and the Power of Blockchain Technology
  • Bauwens, Michel and Vasilis Kostakis. 2019. Peer to Peer: The Commons Manifesto — Chapter 3: P2P and New Socio-technological Frameworks

Session 9 : Cryptocurrency and Monetary Policy

Required Readings

  • Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús. 2018. Cryptocurrencies: A Crash Course in Digital Monetary Economics
  • Kang, Kee-Youn, and Seungduck Lee. 2019. Money, Cryptocurrency, and Monetary Policy

Supplement Readings

  • Hayek, F. A. 1976. The Denationalization of Money — Chapter 18: Monetary Policy Neither Desirable Nor Possible
  • Davidson, Sinclair, Primavera De Filippi, and Jason Potts. 2018. Blockchain and the Economic Institutions of Capitalism
  • Berg, Chris, Sinclair Davidson, and Jason Potts. 2018. Capitalism after Satoshi: Blockchains, Dehierarchicalisation, Innovation Policy, and the Regulatory State
  • Claeys, Grégory, Maria Demertzis, and Konstantinos Efstathiou. 2018. Cryptocurrencies and Monetary Policy
  • Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús, and Daniel Sanches. 2018. On the Economics of Digital Currencies
  • Perkins, David. 2018. Cryptocurrency: The Economics of Money and Selected Policy Issues
  • Danielsson, Jon. 2018. Cryptocurrencies: Policy, Economics and Fairness
  • Georgeson, David A. 2018. Cryptocurrencies as an Alternative to Fiat Monetary Systems
  • Davis, Douglas, Oleg Korenok, Peter Norman, Bruno Sultanum, and Randall Wright. 2019. Playing with Money
  • Benigno, Pierpaolo. 2019. Monetary Policy in a World of Cryptocurrencies
  • Shilling, Linda and Harald Uhlig. 2019. Some Simple Bitcoin Economics