Money is More than Memory

Quaderni - Working Paper DSE N° 1030

65 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2015

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: September 22, 2015

Abstract

Impersonal exchange is the hallmark of an advanced society and money is one key institution that supports it. Economic theory regards money as a crude arrangement for monitoring counterparts’ past conduct. If so, then a public record of past actions — or memory — should supersede the function performed by money. This intriguing theoretical postulate remains untested. In an experiment, we show that the suggested functional equivalence 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 are crucial in promoting large-scale cooperation.

Keywords: Cooperation, intertemporal trade, experiments, social norms

JEL Classification: C70, C90, D03, E02

Suggested Citation

Bigoni, Maria and Camera, Gabriele and Casari, Marco, Money is More than Memory (September 22, 2015). Quaderni - Working Paper DSE N° 1030. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2664134 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2664134

Maria Bigoni (Contact Author)

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

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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