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George Selgin

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Nationality  American
Name  George Selgin
Role  Professor

School or tradition  Free Banking
Fields  Macroeconomics
Influences  Friedrich Hayek
Influenced by  Friedrich Hayek
George Selgin objectcatoorgsitescatoorgfilesauthorsgeorg
Alma mater  New York University (PhD) 1986 Drew University (B.A.) 1979
Education  Drew University, New York University
Books  Good Money: Birmingh, Less than zero, Bank Deregulation & Moneta, Praxeology and Understanding, The Theory of Free Banking
Similar People  Friedrich Hayek, Leland B Yeager, Ludwig von Mises, Israel Kirzner, Milton Friedman

Institution  University of Georgia

George selgin free banking and the economics of a free society

George Selgin (; born 1957) is the Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, where he is editor-in-chief of the Center's blog, Alt-M, Professor Emeritus of economics at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, and an associate editor of Econ Journal Watch. Selgin formerly taught at George Mason University, the University of Hong Kong, and West Virginia University.


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Life and career

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Selgin's principal research areas are monetary and banking theory, monetary history, and macroeconomics. He is one of the founders, along with Kevin Dowd and Lawrence H. White, of the Modern Free Banking School, which draws its inspiration from the writings of Friedrich Hayek on denationalization of money and choice in currency. A central claim of the Free Banking School is that the effects of government intervention in monetary systems cannot be properly appreciated except with reference to a theory of monetary laissez-faire, analogous to the theory of free trade that informs the modern understanding of the effects of tariffs and other trade barriers. The free bankers argue that, viewed in light of such a theory, financial crises and business cycles are largely attributable to misguided government interference with freely-evolved and competitive monetary arrangements, including legislation granting central banks exclusive rights to issue paper currency.

Selgin is also known for his research on coinage, including studies of Gresham's Law and of private minting of coins during Great Britain's Industrial Revolution, and for his advocacy of a "productivity norm" for monetary policy—a plan that would have policymakers target the growth-rate of nominal gross domestic product at a level that would allow the overall price level to decline along with goods' real (unit) costs of production. According to Selgin, by preventing mild deflation in response to productivity gains, monetary authorities risk inadvertently fueling unsustainable booms or economic bubbles, setting the stage for consequent busts and recession.

His twin brother is author and illustrator Peter Selgin.


  • Drew University B.A. 1979
  • New York University Ph.D. 1986
  • Books

  • Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage (2008). ISBN 978-0-472-11631-7.
  • Bank Deregulation and Monetary Order (1996). ISBN 0-415-14056-0.
  • Less Than Zero: The Case for a Falling Price Level in a Growing Economy (1997). ISBN 0-255-36402-4.
  • Readings in Money and Banking (1995). ISBN 0-536-58930-5.
  • The Theory of Free Banking: Money Supply under Competitive Note Issue (1988). ISBN 0-8476-7578-5.
  • References

    George Selgin Wikipedia