Narrator: Now listen to part of a talk in an economics class.
Professor: So let's talk about money.
What is money?
Well, typically, people think of coins and paper bills as money,
but that's using a somewhat narrow definition of the term.
A broad definition is this:
Money is anything that people can use to make purchases with.
Since many things can be used to make purchases,
money can have many different forms.
Certainly coins and bills are one form of money.
People exchange goods and services for coins or paper bills,
and they use this money, these bills, to obtain other goods and services.
For example, you might give a taxi driver five dollars to purchase a ride in his taxi,
and he in turn gives us five dollars to a farmer to buy some vegetables.
But as I said,
coins and bills aren't the only form of money under this broad definition.
Some societies make use of a barter system,
basically in a barter system people exchange goods and services directly for other goods and services.
The taxi driver, for example,
might give a ride to a farmer in exchange for some vegetables.
Since the vegetables are used to pay for a service, by our broad definition,
the vegetables are used in barter as a form of money.
Now, as I mentioned,
there is also a second, a narrower definition of money.
In the United States,
only coins and bills are legal tender,
meaning that by law, a seller must accept them as payment.
The taxi driver must accept coins or bills as payment for a taxi ride. OK?
But in the U.S., the taxi driver is not required to accept vegetables in exchange for a ride.
So a narrower definition of money might be whatever is legal tender in a society,
whatever has to be accepted as payment.