Money as Meta-Rule

Buchanan's Constitutional Economics as a Foundation for Monetary Stability

Originally published in Public Choice

This paper explores James Buchanan’s contributions to monetary economics and argues these contributions form the foundation of a robust monetary economics paradigm. While often not recognized for his contributions to monetary economics, Buchanan’s scholarship offers important insights for current debates. We argue that the post-2007 crisis milieu creates a unique opportunity to recognize, as Buchanan did, the vital role that money plays in the market as the ‘grammar of commerce.’ That recognition makes the need for more fundamental reform of our monetary regimes at the constitutional level more apparent, making Buchanan’s work on monetary constitutions more relevant than ever before.