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Suppressing Asset Price Inflation: The Confederate Experience, 1861--1865

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  • Richard C. K. Burdekin
  • Marc D. Weidenmier

Abstract

Confederate asset price stabilization policies appear to have increased the velocity of circulation and counterproductively channeled inflationary pressures into other areas of the economy. Three successive monetary reforms encouraged holders of Treasury notes to exchange these notes for bonds by imposing deadlines on their convertibility. We show that Confederate funding acts aimed at precipitating the conversion of currency into bonds did temporarily suppress currency depreciation. These acts also triggered upsurges in commodity prices, however, because note holders rushed to spend the currency before their exchange rights were reduced. (JEL E52, N21) Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 420-432

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:41:y:2003:i:3:p:420-432

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  1. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1999. "Monetary policy and asset price volatility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-128.
  2. Richard C. K. Burdekin & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2001. "Inflation Is Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon: Richmond vs. Houston in 1864," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1621-1630, December.
  3. Osterwald-Lenum, Michael, 1992. "A Note with Quantiles of the Asymptotic Distribution of the Maximum Likelihood Cointegration Rank Test Statistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 461-72, August.
  4. Marc D. Weidenmier, . "Turning Points during the U.S. Civil War: Views from the Grayback Market," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-24, Claremont Colleges.
  5. Weidenmier, Marc D., 2000. "The Market for Confederate Cotton Bonds," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 76-97, January.
  6. Davis, George K. & Pecquet, Gary M., 1990. "Interest Rates in the Civil War South," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(01), pages 133-148, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard C.K.Burdekin & Marc D.Weidenmier, 2002. "Interest-Bearing Currency and Legal Restrictions Theory:Lessons from the Southern Confederacy," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 22(2), pages 199-209, Fall.
  2. Marc Weidenmier, 2004. "Gunboats, Reputation, and Sovereign Repayment: Lessons from the Southern Confederacy," NBER Working Papers 10960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Helicopter Money: Irredeemable Fiat Money and the Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 10163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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