16 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2018

See all articles by Chris Berg

Chris Berg

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Sinclair Davidson

RMIT University

Jason Potts

RMIT University

Date Written: April 6, 2018


This paper develops the ledger-centric view of the economy. Ledgers provide an underlying infrastructure for exchange by allowing actors to prove, validate, and verify property ownership. In this sense ledgers map economic, political and social relationships. This paper provides some theoretical distinctions to frame the analysis of the economics of ledgers. First we offer a philosophical and institutional definition of ledgers. Second we provide three analytic categories of ledgers (general, actual, and perfect). Third we offer a ledger theory of the firm as a map of relationship between labour, capital, production processes, and information, and emphasise the economic significance of ledgerisation in the history of entrepreneurial firm creation. Fourth we draw some implications of our theory for the development of complex economies. This paper is based on the theory of institutional cryptoeconomics which was developed to understand the economic implications of distributed ledger technologies.

Keywords: ledgers, blockchains, institutional economics, cryptoeconomics

JEL Classification: B52

Suggested Citation

Berg, Chris and Davidson, Sinclair and Potts, Jason, Ledgers (April 6, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3157421 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3157421

Chris Berg (Contact Author)

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing ( email )

Level 12, 239 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Sinclair Davidson

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000

Jason Potts

RMIT University ( email )

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