Money is More than Memory

CFS Working Paper No. 496

39 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2014

See all articles by Maria Bigoni

Maria Bigoni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Gabriele Camera

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute; University of Bologna - Dept. of Economics

Marco Casari

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 27, 2014

Abstract

Impersonal exchange is the hallmark of an advanced society. One key institution for impersonal exchange is money, which economic theory considers just a primitive arrangement for monitoring past conduct in society. If so, then a public record of past actions — or memory — supersedes the function performed by money. This intriguing theoretical postulate remains untested. In an experiment, we show that the suggested functional equality between money and memory does not translate into an empirical equivalence. Monetary systems perform a richer set of functions than just revealing past behaviors, which proves to be crucial in promoting large-scale cooperation.

Keywords: Cooperation, intertemporal trade, experiments, social norms, social dilemmas

JEL Classification: C70, C90, D03, E02

Suggested Citation

Bigoni, Maria and Camera, Gabriele and Casari, Marco, Money is More than Memory (October 27, 2014). CFS Working Paper No. 496. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2527879 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2527879

Maria Bigoni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, Bologna 40126
Italy
+390512098134 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/maria.bigoni/en

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Gabriele Camera (Contact Author)

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

Orange, CA 92866
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www1.chapman.edu/~camera/

University of Bologna - Dept. of Economics ( email )

Strada Maggiore 45
Bologna, 40125
Italy

Marco Casari

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Strada Maggiore 45
Bologna, 40125
Italy

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