The Debasement Puzzle: An Essay on Medieval Monetary History
AbstractThis study establishes several facts about medieval monetary debasements: they were followed by unusually large minting volumes and by increased seigniorage; old and new coins circulated concurrently; and, at least some of the time, coins were valued by weight. These facts constitute a puzzle because debasements provide no additional inducements to bring coins to the mint. On theoretical and empirical grounds, the authors reject explanations based on by-tale circulation, nominal contracts, and sluggish price adjustment. They conclude that debasements pose a challenge to monetary economics. This article was originally published in the Journal of Economic History (December 1996, vol. 56, no. 4, pp. 789--808). It is reprinted in the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Quarterly Review with the permission of Cambridge University Press.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.
Volume (Year): 56 (1996)
Issue (Month): 04 (December)
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Other versions of this item:
- Arthur J. Rolnick & Francois R. Velde & Warren E. Weber, 1997. "The debasement puzzle: an essay on medieval monetary history," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 8-20.
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- Francois R. Velde & Warren E. Weber & Randall Wright, 1997.
"A model of commodity money, with applications to Gresham's law and the debasement puzzle,"
215, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- François R. Velde & Warren E. Weber & Randall Wright, 1999. "A Model of Commodity Money, with Applications to Gresham's Law and the Debasement Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 291-323, January.
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- Manjong Lee & Neil Wallace, 2006. "Optimal divisibility when money is costly to produce," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 541-556, July.
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