Money Knowledge or Money Myths? Results of a population survey on money and the monetary order
People use money in everyday life in ubiquitous ways. In addition, they know that money has quite different and multiple meanings in different social contexts, depending on the situation in which it is used. That said, what do people actually know about money, money creation, money backing and the institutional foundations of the monetary order? While contributions in the rapidly extending field of financial literacy have empirically studied people’s knowledge about mathematical and financial issues, people’s knowledge about the functioning of the money system and monetary institutions remained mostly unexplored. To improve our understanding of people’s knowledge of the money system and the most important money institutions, we questioned 2,000 individuals in Austria using a standardized population survey. In this paper, after a short critical review of the sociology of money and the literature on financial literacy, we present and critically discuss the results of the survey. We found that, independently of age, gender, education and income, people know very little about the money system or money institutions and mostly believe in money myths, such as the notion that money is still backed by gold. Finally, we discuss our empirical findings against the backdrop of the state of research on the sociology of money.
Kraemer, K., Jakelja, L., Brugger, F. und Nessel, S. (2020): Money Knowledge or Money Myths? Results of a population survey on money and the monetary order, in: European Journal of Sociology, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 219-267, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003975620000119.
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