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2021/2022  KAN-CPHIO2018U  Money and Values

English Title
Money and Values

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Ole Bjerg - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Philosophy and ethics
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 24-06-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • be familiar with the basic mechanics of contemporary money creation
  • be familiar with different theories about the nature of money
  • be able to combine philosophy and economics in the analysis of money and monetary phenomenon
  • be able to discuss the epistemological and political implications of different conceptions of the nature of money
  • be familiar with contemporary trends in the development of new forms of money such as cryptocurrencies and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
Money and Values:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2-3
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
The assignment can be written either individually or in groups of 2-3 people
1 person must write max. 10 pages
2 people must write max. 15 pages
3 people must write max. 20 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The essay gives you quite a wide scope to write you exam paper. “Essay”, however, does not mean that you can write an unstructured text about how you feel about this or that. The assignment must still be structured with a clear problem statement, an analysis based on well-defined theoretical concepts, and a conclusion summing up the analytical point developed and answering the problem statement. The broad framework is that you can choose whether to write a very empirical text or a more purely theoretical exercise.

An empirically founded essay looks at an empirical phenomenon or object. It applies theories and concepts from the literature to understand and explain the phenomenon. It is important that you find some kind of empirical material, where you can observe your object. Include pieces of the material in the form of quotes or images in your text. A theoretical essay discusses a theoretical concept of problem from different theoretical perspectives. Again it is important that you find a text that allows you to observe your concept or problem. Also make sure to quote from the text as you build your argument. The two genres of essays may also be combined for instance by analyzing an empirical phenomenon from different theoretical perspectives.

Your essay must include a substantial part of the literature covered in the course. You are, however, free to also include secondary literature.

When I read your essays I will be looking for your ability to identify and formulate a problem, which invokes some of the things, we have covered in the course. A good essay uses analytical perspectives from the course in order to spot problems, which may not otherwise be obvious or may break with conventional understandings.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The course is divided into three thematic blocks. Each bloc consists of an introductory lecture of 3 hours followed by three two hour lectures. Each block is concluded by a workshop with a guest. The workshops allow for extended feedback and provides the students with an opportunity to apply the theoretical material provided in the lectures on a problem or a case. The workshops also provides the students with material, which they may use as the basis for their exam essay.


Block 1: The Value of Money

Theme : What is money? What does money mean? How does money structure our lives and work.

Lecture and literature: My own book as well as Eisenstein's book on Sacred Economics provide the students with theories and concepts that open the question of money not merely as an economic but as a deeply philosophical problem.

Case: Explore the existential meaning of money in relation to work, debt, wealth, growth, etc. The material for the case will be developed in the workshop, where we shall be doing different exercises to explore this question. Students who want to use this case for their essay are encouraged to collect their own empirical material throuh interviews, observations, etc.

Position within the framework of the CM(Phil) : This block is closest to philosophy as it raises ontological and existential questions about money.


Block 2: Money, Banking and Central Banking

Tematik: Where does money come from? What does money do in the economy? And what are current issues and trends in contemporary banking and monetary policy?

Lectures and literature: The book, Where does money come from? provides an advanced introduction to the money and banking system. This part of the course will be more technical and the students are introduced to the mechanisms of payments, clearing, credit creation, solvency, liquidity, etc. The main purpose of this bloc is to make the students understand the relations between banks, central banks and the rest of the economy.

Case: Map out and discuss the implications of implementing a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Curreny). What are the key questions to consider in such implementation. The material for this case is the recent ECB report on CBDC.

Position within the framework of the CM(Phil) : This block is closer to macroeconomics as it explores issues of finance and monetary policy.


Block 3: Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

Tematik: How do cryptocurrencies work? What can they do? And what are the potentials of blockchain in terms of creating new forms of money.

Lectures and literature: The students will be reading different papers to introduce them to the technicalities of blockchain and cryptocurrency as well to the applications of this technology to organizations and monetary systems.

Case: Develop a usecase and/or business model for the ION currency system. The material for the case is material on ION. https://socialcogs.net/

Position within the framework of the CM(Phil) : This block is closer to organization studies as it looks into the way that blockchain and alternative currencies structure human behavior and collaboration. There is also a strong practical and entrepreneurial element as students are invited to think about business models for the development and application of different blockchain solutions.

Description of the teaching methods
The course consist in a combination of different forms of teaching: Traditional lecturing, case based teaching and student exercises.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is provided through discussion based on cases and exercises solved by the students in each class. Students also have the opportunity to come to me in my office hours.
Student workload
Lectures 33 hours
Exam 10 hours
Preparation 163 hours
Expected literature

Bjerg, Ole, ‘Designing New Money: The Policy Trilemma of Central Bank Digital Currency’. CBS Working Paper. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School, 2017

Bjerg, Ole, ‘How Is Bitcoin Money?’ Theory, Culture & Society 33 (1): 53–72, 2016

Bjerg, Ole, Making Money – The Philosophy of Crisis Capitalism. Verso, London 2014 (also available in Russian or Spanish)

ECB, Report on a Digital Euro, 2020

Eisenstein, Charles, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, & Society in the Age of Transition. Berkeley: Evolver Editions, 2011

Fabrice Lumineau , Wenqian Wang , Oliver Schilke (2021) Blockchain Governance—A New Way of Organizing Collaborations?. Organization Science 32(2):500-521, 2021

Josh Ryan-Collins, Tony Greenham, Richard Werner and Andrew Jackson: Where does money come from? New Economics Foundation, 2013

Nakamoto, Satoshi, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Whitepaper 2008

Wang, Jue and Bellavitis, Cristiano and DaSilva, Carlos M., An Introduction to Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings, WP 2018

Last updated on 24-06-2021