The Evolution of Institutions: The Case of Money
I’ve just discovered the perfect place to practise French reading comprehension: Le Québécois Libre, an internationally flavoured libertarian webzine. I stumbled across it while looking for summaries of Carl Menger’s explanation of the origination of money, which I duly found:
Menger’s causal history of money starts with the state of barter economy which permits exchange but with great difficulty. A barter economy is a natural system of exchange in contrast to a monetary system. People who want to trade first try barter but the difficulty or impossibility of finding the requisite double coincidence of wants between individuals poses a huge problem. In the course of time, some individuals realize that they will be more able to make trades if they accumulate goods that other people want. These agents who acquire goods that have greater subjective value to many other people will make a greater number of exchanges and make them more easily and thereby make themselves wealthier.
If this is new to you, I’d strongly recommend that you read the entire article.