Review of Seigniorage: On the Revenue from the Creation of Money by Jens Reich
6 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 17, 2019
This review provides a brief summary description of the book and its eight chapters which review the history of and the history of thought about seigniorage. After the first two introductory chapters, the next four chapters analyze the conditions for optimal seigniorage for three ideal types of currency (commodity, fiat, and credit) and for mixed systems of commodity and credit currencies and fiat and credit currencies. The final chapters discuss how the analysis might be extended to consider optimal seigniorage not in isolation but as part of an integrated fiscal system and how the place of the theory of seigniorage within monetary theory. Despite the valuable contribution Reich makes in providing a detailed overview of the literature on seigniorage and to the analysis of seigniorage, the review notes several topics on which Reich’s analysis of seigniorage is incomplete or insufficiently nuanced.
Keywords: seigniorage, fiat money, commodity money, credit money, gold standard
JEL Classification: B10, B22, E5, E6, N1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation