VfS Annual Conference 2017
"Alternative Architectures for Money and Banking"


The Annual Conference 2017 of the Verein für Socialpolitik will take place at the University of Vienna.
The core conference will address the topic "Alternative Architectures for Money and Banking". We look forward to welcoming you in Vienna from September 3 to 6, 2017.

Accepted Papers:

You can upload a revised version of your accepted paper here.

Core Conference:

The financial crisis of 2008/2009 has spurred efforts to give money and financial intermediaries a proper place in macroeconomic thinking and models. It has also given a powerful impulse to the search for potential alternatives to the current monetary and financial architecture.

In the current system, the banknotes and coins issued by the central bank are the sole legal tender. Yet, most of the money is created by commercial banks. Only certain depository institutions – mostly commercial banks – are eligible to borrow reserves from the central bank, and these reserves are used to settle interbank liabilities.

Paired with new ways to transact and pay, which are enabled by digitalization and encryption methods, several alternative architectures for money and banking are now being discussed in academic and in policy circles. Some proposals and technological developments could fundamentally change the current monetary architecture as well as the entire banking and financial system:

  • Abolition or Strong Limitation of Money Creation by Commercial Banks
  • Abolition of Cash and the Role of Book Money 
  • Crypto-currencies and Free Banking

At this conference, we will review the core ideas underpinning these alternative architectures, and will assess their consistency, completeness, and prospects of adoption. We will draw on historical experience to assess whether these alternative architectures are merely a rehash of old ideas or whether they are truly new. We will also examine how central banks view digital currencies and new transaction technologies.



  • Michael Kumhof (Bank of England): "ChicagoPlan / Narrow Banking"
  • Martin Hellwig (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods): "Geldtheorie, Bargeld und Giralgeld"
  • Adi Shamir (Weizmann Institute in Rechovot, Israel) : "The Functionality and the Future of Digital Currencies". Adi Shamir ist Träger des Turing Preises.
  • Albrecht Ritschl (London School of Economics): "Notgeld, Zigaretten, Bitcoins: Vom Aufstieg und Niedergang alternativer Währungen"

The general theme of the conference is also covered in a panel discussion with leading and experienced representatives.

Preparatory Commission:

  • Christine Zulehner (University of Frankfurt), Chair
  • Stefan Buehler (University of St. Gallen)
  • Tomaso Duso (DIW Berlin)
  • Christina Gathmann (University of Heidelberg)
  • Hendrik Hakenes (University of Bonn)
  • Florian Heiß (University of Dusseldorf)
  • Anja Lamprecht (London Business School)
  • Mario Larch (University of Bayreuth)
  • Monika Merz (University of Vienna)
  • Rupert Sausgruber (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
  • Andreas Schabert (University of Cologne)