I am trying to study modern monetary theory for my research. Recommendations, please? Thank you!


4 Answers 4


You ask for sources on MMT and then sources on development of monetary theory. I don't know about the former (but I know there are some users here who are fans of MMT so hopefully they will hook you up with some good sources) but when it comes to the latter then a classic text that covers development of contemporary monetary theory is Walsh Monetary Theory and Policy (The MIT Press).

It is probably one of the most comprehensive textbooks that cover monetary theory all the way to the most recent advances. It unfortunately does not cover MMT because it is not an accepted theory in profession but has very good treatment of development of monetary theory all the way from canonical models to present day state of the art models.


For Modern Monetary Theory, this is a list of textbooks/books that I used in a primer.

  • Macroeconomics, by William Mitchell, L. Randall Wray, and Martin Watts. Red Globe Press, 2019. ISBN: 978-1-137-61066-9 (Note: This is an undergraduate text, and is an overall heterodox approach to economics. Would need to be supplemented by more advanced materials for research.)
  • Full Employment Abandoned: Shifting Sands and Policy Failures, William Mitchell and Joan Muysken, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008. ISBN: 978-1-85898-507-7 (Very detailed labour market analysis, but then outlines MMT in later parts of the book.)
  • The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, by Stephanie Kelton. PublicAffairs, Hachette Book Group, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-5417-3618-4 (Note: this is a popular book, which gives an overview, but not really aimed at researchers.)
  • The Case for a Job Guarantee, by Pavlina R. Tcherneva. Polity Press, 2020. ISBN: 13-978-1-5095-4211-6.
  • Understanding Modern Money: The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability by L. Randall Wray. Edward Elgar, 1998. ISBN: 978-1-84542-941-6
  • Seven deadly innocent frauds of economic policy, by Warren Mosler. Davin Patton, 2010. (Warren Mosler is one of the co-founders of MMT. He is not an academic, so this would need to be supplemented. PDF's are in the public domain, I believe.)
  • Soft currency economics, by Warren Mosler. West Palm Beach, FL: Adams, Viner and Mosler, 1995.
  • Modern Monetary Theory: A Primer on Macroeconomics for Sovereign Monetary Systems by L. Randall Wray. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-137-26514-2. (There might be a PDF of this in the public domain. Very readable introduction, roughly undergraduate level.)
  • Eurozone dystopia: groupthink and denial on a grand scale, by William Mitchell. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-78471-666-0
  • Modern Monetary Theory and European Macroeconomics, by Dirk H. Ehnts, Routledge, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-315-62303-0

The following are post-Keynesian texts that would be of use. (MMT is a school of thought within the broader PK tradition.) The advantage of the first text is that it gives a graduate-level overview of the development of PK thought. Just looking at MMT in isolation misses the historical context.

  • Post-Keynesian Economics: New Foundations, by Marc Lavoie. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-78347-582-7
  • Monetary Economics: An Integrated Approach to Credit, Money, Income, Production and Wealth (Second Edition), by Wynne Godley and Marc Lavoie. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-230-30184-9. (Standard textbook for stock-flow consistent (SFC) modelling.)

I didn't read it, but it seems like there is a deficit of textbooks on such subject.

So, here is my suggestion, what I have found: 600-page long "Macroeconomics" by William Mitchell.

William Mitchell is a Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. He is one of the developers of Modern Monetary Theory.

Description of the book:

This groundbreaking new core textbook encourages students to take a more critical approach to the prevalent assumptions around the subject of macroeconomics, by comparing and contrasting heterodox and orthodox approaches to theory and policy. The first such textbook to develop a heterodox model from the ground up, it is based on the principles of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) as derived from the theories of Keynes, Kalecki, Veblen, Marx, and Minsky, amongst others. The internationally-respected author team offer appropriate fiscal and monetary policy recommendations, explaining how the poor economic performance of most of the wealthy capitalist countries over recent decades could have been avoided, and delivering a well-reasoned practical and philosophical argument for the heterodox MMT approach being advocated. The book is suitable for both introductory and intermediate courses, offering a thorough overview of the basics, while covering everything needed for more advanced courses. Issues are explained conceptually, with the more technical, mathematical material in chapter appendices, offering greater flexibility of lecturer use.


If you want a quick overview from a skeptic you can try this from Reason magazine (I think it has public access). The article is mostly about politics and budget deficits, so search for 'MMT' and you will find several paragraphs near the end. As mentioned he is a skeptic and is criitcal of MMT; I suggest you read it first, then you'll be better able to appraise the supporting arguments by the proponents of MMT in the other sources listed here.

  • $\begingroup$ There are no references to the MMT literature in the article, and most of the assertions about MMT would be disputed by MMT proponents. There are peer-reviewed articles critical of MMT that cite the literature. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ He mentions Kelton's book. $\endgroup$
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ Even though Kelton is an academic, that’s a popular book. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 22:12

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