Is fiat money more prone to inflation than commodity money?

Is fiat money more prone to inflation than commodity money?

silver coins

For example, fiat money tends to be accepted so long as too much of it is not printed too quickly. When that happens, as it did in Russia in the 1990s, people tend to look for other items to serve as money. In the case of Russia, the U.S. dollar became a popular form of money, even though the Russian government still declared the ruble to be its fiat money.

Commodity money has some intrinsic value due to the content of precious metal it is made up of or backed by, but debasement or increases in precious metal supply can cause inflation. The necessity claim is supposed to apply to any model and, in particular, to models with private information about types. No commitment and discounting can help determine the conditions for implementability, which can always be stated in terms of actions that do not involve fiat money. Phelps’ lasting contribution was to place questions concerning the optimal rate of inflation in a general equilibrium context in which inflation is chosen jointly with other distorting taxes. He recognized that his result that inflation should exceed the Friedman rule was model-specific and depended, in particular, on his assumptions about alternative taxes and about cross-price effects.

Pros and cons of a fiat currency

In response to serious economic problems, the country’s central bank began to print money at a staggering pace. That resulted in hyperinflation, which ran between 231 million and 489 billion percent in 2008. With KYC in place, then national cryptocurrencies can be used to write smart contracts and found autonomous companies. It can then also be used to store proof of ownership—everything from ownership of digital books to cars and properties and more. If implemented properly, it can be a tool to integrate the nation’s unbanked into the existing financial system.

In 1980, the Fed decided that changes in the ways people were managing their money made M1 useless for policy choices. It has largely given up tracking a particular measure of the money supply. The choice of what to measure as money remains the subject of continuing research and considerable debate. Is a written order to a bank to transfer ownership of a checkable deposit.

Commodity-Backed Money

Like all types of currency, fiat money comes with advantages and disadvantages. Countries may also peg their currency to another currency, creating currency correlations​. This may be beneficial for large importers or exporters since the real cost of goods stays the same. When currencies fluctuate, goods can become more expensive or cheaper when priced in another currency. Fiat currencies of major nations are easy to use and exchange for other fiat currencies, as well as goods and services. It should be easily divided into small quantities so that its original use value can be identified-enough so that a useful quantity of the commodity can be carried or transported.

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Money supply growth may instead result in stable prices at a time in which they would otherwise be decreasing. Some economists maintain that with the conditions of a liquidity trap, large monetary injections are like “pushing on a string”. Robust monetary theory should be applicable to commodity monies and credit-related monies alike; in other words, theory should apply throughout global history. Likewise, robust credit theory should be applicable to debts denominated in terms of monies as well as debts denominated in nonmonetary terms.

People’s perceived value of an item in terms of other goods for which they are ready to exchange should remain roughly constant or increase over time. A good whose value fluctuates dramatically over time or continually loses value is less acceptable. Part of the trust in commodity money also comes from its rarity, or at least how people perceive its rarity. Commodities such as gold are naturally rare, and it is because of this rareness that makes it more valuable and increases its intrinsic value. By contrast, we also have commodity monies such as salt and tobacco, which relies on its consumption and creation.

The Bank for International Settlements published a detailed review of payment system developments in the Group of Ten countries in 1985, in the first of a series that has become known as “red books”. Currently the red books cover the participating countries on Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures . A red book summary of the value of banknotes and coins in circulation is shown in the table below where the local currency is converted to US dollars using the end of the year rates.

The gold standard has a long and complicated history in the U.S. and worldwide and will stay a subject for another day. And the list could go on and on; think back to yourself as a kid, and you used to swap toys, books, games, or baseball cards. These create a form of commodity money because you placed a value on that item and used it to trade with your friends. Its value is derived from its official recognition as a medium of exchange from government legislation. Fiat money is a medium of exchange that is only backed by the government.

Commodity money is only accepted in certain locations and cannot be used everywhere. Vertical integration is where two businesses at different stages ETC of the supply chain join together. Mass production is the continuous production of standardized products, usually along an assembly line.


Cryptocurrencies share many similarities with conventional fiat money, but also offer some interesting advantages. Commodity money has intrinsic value because it has other uses besides being a medium of exchange. Fiat money serves only as a medium of exchange, because its use as such is authorized by the government; it has no intrinsic value.

In such economies, the first welfare theorem might not hold, competitive equilibria might not be Pareto optimal. One may achieve a Pareto improvement by giving resources to the current old from the current young, who in turn receive resources, when they are old from the next young generation, ad infinitum. There are various ways to implement or interpret such a transfer scheme.

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What do you mean by commodity money?

Commodity money is money whose value comes from a commodity of which it is made. Commodity money consists of objects having value or use in themselves (intrinsic value) as well as their value in buying goods.

Consumer confidence in the government puts value on fiat money. The value of fiat money or its exchange rate comes from the supply-demand forces in the foreign exchange market. The stability of the government is the main factor that changes the value of fiat GMT money.

What is the difference between commodity and money?

Commodity value of money refers to value of the commodity (like metal) that the money is made of. Thus, if coins are made of gold or silver (as was the practice in old days), commodity value of money refers to the market value of the gold or silver contained in the coin.

The US federal initially assured citizens of retrieving the bucks in gold. Nonetheless, the existent President Richard Nixon finished theconversion potential in due to decreased gold stocks. Moreover, the Russian ruble and Chinese “flying money” are some instances of unsuccessful fiat currencies over the years. GreenbacksGreenback refers to the first paper money issued by the United States government in the 19th century to finance the expenses of the American Civil War. Furthermore, the administration must ensure its complete security against duplication and management of finances for a strong fiat currency.

  • Anyone can exchange one currency for another at the current rate between two different fiat currencies.
  • Laymen have difficulty understanding that money has value solely because of its universal acceptance as money.
  • For instance, gold coins are worth even when not used as money.
  • A mobile phone maker, for example, can spend money on new equipment, hire and pay more people, and expand into new markets.

Usually, in a how does commodity money differ from fiat money money the value drops if the coin is converted to metal, but in a few cases the value of metals in fiat moneys have been allowed to rise to values larger than the face value of the coin. In India, for example fiat Rupees disappeared from the market after 2007 when their content of stainless steel became larger than the fiat or face value of the coins. In the US, the metal in pennies (97.5% zinc since 1982, 95% copper in 1982 and before) and nickels (75% copper, 25% nickel) has a value close to, and sometimes exceeding, the fiat face value of the coin. Commodity money is money whose value comes from a commodity of which it is made. The task of keeping the rate of inflation small and stable is usually given to monetary authorities.

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The quantity of the commodity money is usually determined by the market. The physical characteristics of the good should be durable enough to be reused several times and retain their usefulness in future exchanges. A perishable item or one that degrades rapidly after being used in exchanges will be less usable in future transactions. Using a non-durable item as money is incompatible with money’s fundamentally future-oriented nature. We have already seen what commodity money is and why people trust it, but let’s dive in and see what characteristics it has. There are four main characteristics of commodity money – it’s durable, divisible, easily exchangeable, and rare.


Such how does commodity money differ from fiat money was sold at a discount of silver, which the government would then spend, and would expire at a fixed date later. Fiat money is a type of currency that is not backed by a commodity, such as gold or silver. It is typically designated by the issuing government to be legal tender. Throughout history, fiat money was sometimes issued by local banks and other institutions. In modern times, fiat money is generally authorized by government regulation. Fiat money is a medium of exchange that is backed by the government and nothing else.

  • The amount of gold sent to the mint for coinage and the number of gold coins melted for other purposes determine the number of gold coins required by the general population.
  • Representative money is a type of money that is issued by the government and backed by commodities such as precious metals like gold or silver.
  • The physical characteristics of the good should be durable enough to be reused several times and retain their usefulness in future exchanges.
  • In the longer term, however, the bank would engage in open market operations to stabilize the quantity of bank guilders.
  • In another example, in US prisons after smoking was banned circa 2003, commodity money has switched in many places to containers of mackerel fish fillets, which have a fairly standard cost and are easy to store.
  • Suppose, for example, that you have $100 in your checking account and you write a check to your campus bookstore for $30 or instruct the clerk to swipe your debit card and “charge” it $30.

It was a useful store of value, it was durable, and it was widely accepted between nations. Later, in 550 B.C., under the order of King Croesus of Lydia, it went into full circulation. That means it has value in and of itself, with people trading it freely in the knowledge that someone will accept it. China has a long history with paper money, beginning in the 7th century CE. During the 11th century, the government established a monopoly on its issuance, and about the end of the 12th century, convertibility was suspended. The use of such money became widespread during the subsequent Yuan and Ming dynasties.

These may be exchanged for many services in prisons where currency is prohibited. For example, it is now possible to transfer money from your savings account to your checking account using an automated teller machine , and then to withdraw cash from your checking account. Thus, many types of savings accounts are easily converted into currency.

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