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Anchors Aweigh: The Transition from Commodity Money to Fiat Money in Western Economies

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  • Angela Redish

Abstract

In this paper, the author argues that the transition from commodity money to fiat money in the 1970s was a less dramatic change than suggested by a first glance at monetary history or monetary theory. She shows that, historically, the quantity of the commodity-based money was at the discretion of the monetary authority and how, over time, the desire to economize on the commodity backing led to national and international institutions that reduced the extent to which money issues under the commodity standard represented an explicit claim to an intrinsically valuable asset.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (1993)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 777-95

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:26:y:1993:i:4:p:777-95

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Cited by:
  1. George Selgin, 2003. "Adaptive Learning and the Transition to Fiat Money," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 147-165, January.
  2. Michael D. Bordo & Marc Flandreau, 2001. "Core, Periphery, Exchange Rate Regimes, and Globalization," NBER Working Papers 8584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Charles Calomiris & David Wheelock, 1998. "Was the Great Depression a Watershed for American Monetary Policy?," NBER Chapters, in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 23-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bordo, Michael D. & Jonung, Lars, 1994. "Monetary Regimes, Inflation and Monetary Reform: An Essay in Honor of Axel Leijonhufvud," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 16, Stockholm School of Economics.
  5. Pauli, Ralf, 2000. "Payments Remain Fundamental for Banks and Central Banks," Research Discussion Papers, Bank of Finland 6/2000, Bank of Finland.

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