Libro de la Semana

51sxy0x79wl__sl500_aa240_Understanding Modern Money

By: Wray, L. Randall

Randy Wray’s book offers a fresh perspective on the issues of price inflation and employment in the macroeconomy. While consistent with earlier Post-Keynesian and Institutionalist approaches, he nevertheless brings some new ideas to the debate. His is the sort of book that leads the reader to stop frequently to sketch out a concept or to digest some new application of theory. It is a very enjoyable read.

Roughly speaking, the argument runs as follows. Given the current philosophy and structure of economic policy making in the U.S.A., the only viable means by which the government can reduce price inflation is the introduction of slack into the level of economic activity. This is so in part because the government simply accepts the prices set in the market and can therefore only affect them indirectly (i.e., via induced recession). Conversely, increasing employment is viewed as problematic since prevailing theory suggests that deficits are inflationary and crowd out private investment.

Wray argues that these dismal forecasts are based on a misunderstanding of the character of money and deficits, and that true price stability is not only consistent with full employment, it requires it. The policy he develops is built around the government playing the role of Employer of Last Resort (E.L.R.). By offering to hire all willing workers at a specified wage rate, not only is the unemployment problem resolved, but the most important price in the macro-economy (that of labor) has been anchored. Price stability is thereby achieved not as a byproduct of the creation of fear, instability, and impoverishment, but as part of a civilized plan leading to full employment.

After the introduction, Wray spends the next two chapters educating the reader regarding the nature and history of money. First and foremost, he argues, money derives its value from the fact that it is twintopt: “that which is necessary to pay taxes.” He cites extensive and convincing evidence that once governments exercise the power to tax and specify the means of payment that they will accept, the latter will tend to become the preferred money throughout the economy. It then becomes clear that fiscal policy determines the quantity of money (wherein it is advisable to run at least small deficits so that twintopt will be generally available) and monetary policy should be used to drain excess reserves (and in the process set short-term interest rates). The history of money offered by Wray is consistent with the twintopt view, and in the process of making his case he argues very strongly against the standard money-replaced-barter story. A careful study of the available evidence leads one instead to the conclus ion that money arose as a consequence of debt, and that even when precious metals were used for coinage the value of the currency was (until very recently) seen as a function of the money’s role as twintopt.

Wray returns to his central argument in Chapter 4 by showing in greater detail why it is that, given the twintopt understanding of money, taxes should not be levied nor bonds sold as a means of generating funds for subsequent government spending. In point of fact, we do not do that, anyway; the Treasury already “spends before and without regard to either previous receipt of taxes or prior bond sales” (p. 78). This is because the money must logically be injected into the economy before it can be collected again (either as taxes or borrowing)! Taxes do indeed fund public spending, but only because they make government debt (i.e. currency) valuable enough for the market to accept it. This puts the role of debt, deficits, and taxes in a whole new light, and it specifically denies the simplistic accounting view almost universally accepted in the economics discipline. And it means that government deficits are necessary to ensure non-government agents’ ability to pay taxes.

In Chapter 5, Wray addresses monetary policy. Here he suggests that the proper role of the Federal Reserve is to set short-term interest rates and manage reserves (by absorbing excesses and alleviating shortages). He also points out several fallacies in the both heterodox and orthodox monetary theories. For one, Wray argues that the Post-Keynesian horizontalist versus verticalist debate has been made at cross purposes. He also shows that the money multiplier is a misrepresentation of commercial bank practices, and he contends that the Federal Reserve is not as stingy with discount-window loans as usually argued.

Chapter 6 outlines in much greater detail Wray’s proposed employment and price policy. He reiterates the necessity of full employment to achieve stable prices and goes into some detail regarding potential programs and their financial costs. One of my favorite parts of this chapter is Wray’s consideration of potential weaknesses in his plan. To his credit, he does not dismiss them outright and admits that at some issues will be difficult to resolve. If one were to use this text in the classroom, Chapter 6 would represent an excellent source of material for discussion or paper assignments.

Chapters 7 and 8 offer conclusions, seven in the form of a simple model through which the implications of the ELR plan can be outlined and understood. It is a very useful way of ending the book.

Randy Wray’s book is fascinating, and it already has me rethinking the “Post-Keynesian” portion of my intermediate macro class. The arguments are very powerful and well integrated and the support he provides for twintopt and ELR varies from theoretical to historical. I highly recommend it.

John T. Harvey is Professor of Economics at Texas Christian University, and the Executive Secretary of the International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics. His research focuses on exchange rate theory, which he approaches from a post-Keynesian and institutionalist perspective. His most recent work involves applying the psychology of decision making (as pioneered by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky) to short-term currency price movements.

(Review of Social Economy, Sept 2001 v59 i3 p358)

Disponible en BAE: HG 221 .W83 2003

Bibliografía: Turismo

Según se ha reseñado en la prensa local, el sector del turismo aporta cerca de un siete por ciento del PNB (producto nacional bruto), habiendose observado que este sector de la economía ha demostrado sostener crecimiento y resistencia a la recesión.

Esta lista de referencias presenta al turismo como una actividad muy diversa y diferenciada en  diversas ofertas al visitante. Digamos, desde el turismo de sol, playa y juego hasta otros, más extravagantes, como puede ser el turismo tanatológico. También incluye textos que tratan los temas de fomento, promoción y mercadeo, inversión y financiamiento de las variadas experiencias turísticas que se ofrecen al visitante.

Compañía de Turismo de Puerto Rico

Al inicio del documento, destacamos un desglose parcial actualizado de la Revista Negocios del Nuevo Día. Estos artículos presentan un panorama general de este sector industrial a nivel local. Consulta nuestra Bibliografía.

Descárga el mapa en PDF entrando a este enlace:



Editada en junio de 2020.

Libro de la Semana


By: Miñarro, Juan Luis

El e-Recruting se ha convertido en la muestra más destacada del impacto de las nuevas tecnologías en la gestión de Recursos Humanos. Tras un inicio marcado por la burbuja tecnológica, el e-Recruiting es ya una realidad consolidada que aporta valor a un gran número de compañías españolas, optimizando su captación de talento.

La aportación del e-Recruiting es evidente en aspectos tan diversos como la calidad de los perfiles captados, el coste de los procesos o el alcance y la precisión de las acciones de reclutamiento.  Sin embargo, a medidad que evoluciona, el reclutamiento electrónico extiende su propuesta de valor, incluyendo empresas, candidatos y centros formativos.  A lo largo de este texto, el lector encontrará una completa panorámica de la realidad y perspectivas del e-Recruititng


Disponible en la BAE: HF 5549.5 .R44E74 2004

Libro de la Semana

Instant Messaging Rules

By: Nancy Flynn

Foolishly, I wondered how anybody could write 210 pages on the rules for instant messaging. The instant message just pops up, you answer it, and there you are. I’d never given it much thought.

Instant Messaging Rules addresses the “… potentially costly business and legal challenges instant messaging (IM) brings to the workplace.” Although the book is principally about IM, there are many similarities between IM and e-mail, and throughout the book Flynn borrows from her two previous books, E-Mail Rules (AMACOM, 2003) and The E-Policy Handbook (AMACOM, 2000).

The book details Flynn’s 32 IM rules and includes disaster stories that bring practical application of the rules into clear focus. The stories are all true; many of them refer to recent court cases dealing with the use and misuse of IM and e-mail. The numerous legal, security and record retention issues surrounding a company’s electronic records are discussed thoroughly. “Case law on both the federal and state levels demonstrates that electronic documents, including e-mail and instant messages, are legal evidence,” Flynn points out.

Sample company statements and policies are provided as a value-added part of the book. A handy e-communication shorthand definitions list is also included for those of us who can never remember what ROTFL or PMFJI means.

And of particular interest to those of us who train, the importance and value of employee training is emphasized. “Most employers,” Flynn says, “drop the ball when it comes to educating employees about IM (and e-mail) risks and rules.” For the practical-minded, the section “Fifteen Tips for Effective Employee Training” is excellent.


Training, May 2005 v42 i5 p44(1)

Disponible en la BAE: HE 7551 .F59 2004

Biblioteca Digital Mundial

La  UNESCO anuncia que a partir de hoy, 21 de abril de 2009, está disponible en la web la Biblioteca Digital Mundial. 

¿Qué es la Biblioteca Digital Mundial? 

Es un proyecto colaborativo de 32 instituciones en donde se pueden consultar documentos únicos de otras bibliotecas y archivos de todo el mundo. El sitio tiene acceso a manuscritos, mapas y libros raros, material multimedios como películas, grabaciones y fotografías. Una de las cosas más llamativas del proyecto es que el acceso es ilimitado y gratuito.

Las búsquedas en la Biblioteca Digital Mundial pueden ser realizadas por: sitio (lugar geográfico), tiempo, tema, tipo de artículo o institución.  Tiene la ventaja de que está disponible en 7 idiomas, incluyendo el español.


Biblioteca especializada que apoya la Facultad de Administración de Empresas de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras

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