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Professor Becker on Free Banking: A Comment

van den Hauwe, Ludwig (2007): Professor Becker on Free Banking: A Comment.

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Abstract

Professor Becker´s 1956 paper about free banking was originally intended as a reaction to the 100-percent reserve proposals that were then popular at the University of Chicago. Today the original paper clearly illustrates how considerably our views and theories about free banking have evolved in the past 50 years. This development is to a considerable extent the result of the work and the writings of economists of the Austrian School. Pascal Salin is one of the most prominent members of the Austrian free banking school. In a new introduction to the 1956 paper written especially for the Festschrift in honor of Pascal Salin, Professor Gary Becker partially repudiates and mitigates some of his previous conclusions. This event offers a fitting opportunity to review some developments in the theory of free banking and related issues and to add a few clarifications concerning the present “state of the art” as regards an acceptable and adequate notion of free banking.

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