Money as a Hierarchical System

Legal and Economic Perspectives

Sep 12, 2013


This seminar will examine the hierarchical power relationships generated and continuously affected by the legal and economic design of the monetary system. Questions to be addressed include:

How have financial and legal technologies shaped our monetary system?

How do different contemporary legal and economic views on money and the monetary economy relate to each other?

What role should and/or does power play in discussions of legal and economic design of the monetary system?


Christine Desan
Professor of Law
Harvard Law School
L. Randall Wray
Professor of Economics and Research Director
Center for Full Employment and Price Stability at the University of Missouri-Kansas City
Perry Mehrling
Professor of Economics
Barnard College
Katharina Pistor
Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law
Columbia Law School

Core Resources

Money As A Legal Institution

Desan, Christine. Money as a Legal Institution.” Money in the Western Legal Tradition: Middle Ages to Bretton Woods. Eds. David Fox, and Wolfgang Ernst. Oxford University Press, 2015.

 Money as a Legal Institution.pdf

The Credit Money And State Money Approaches

L. Wray, Randall The Credit Money and State Money Approaches. Center for Full Employment and Price Stability, 2002.


The Inherent Hierarchy Of Money

Mehrling, Perry. The Inherent Hierarchy of Money.” Duncan Foley Conference. 2012.


A Legal Theory Of Finance

Pistor, Katharina A Legal Theory of Finance. Public Law & Legal Theory Working Paper Group. Columbia Law School, 2013.

 Legal Theory of Finance.pdf