Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Monetary Policy and the Dollar

In: Founding Choices: American Economic Policy in the 1790s

Contents:

Author Info

  • Peter L. Rousseau

Abstract

In this essay I propose that the adoption of the U.S. dollar as a common currency shortly after the ratification of the Federal Constitution and the accompanying transition from a fiat to specie standard was a pivotal moment in the nation's early history and marked an improvement over the monetary systems of colonial America and under the Articles of Confederation. This is because the dollar and all that came with it monetized the modern sector of the U.S. economy and tied the supply of money more closely to the capital market and the provision of credit -- feats that were not possible in an era when colonial legislatures were unable to credibly commit to controlling paper money emissions. The switch to a specie standard was at the time necessary to promote domestic and international confidence in the nascent financial system, and paved the way for the long transition to the point when the standard was no longer required.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c11739.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

as in new window

This chapter was published in:

  • Douglas A. Irwin & Richard Sylla, 2010. "Founding Choices: American Economic Policy in the 1790s," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number irwi09-1, May.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11739.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11739

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Other versions of this item:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Bennett T. McCallum, 1990. "Money and Prices in Colonial America: A New Test of Competing Theories," NBER Working Papers 3383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Peter L. Rousseau & Richard Sylla, 2000. "Emerging Financial Markets and Early U.S. Growth," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0015, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    3. Grubb, Farley, 2004. "The circulating medium of exchange in colonial Pennsylvania, 1729-1775: new estimates of monetary composition, performance, and economic growth," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 329-360, October.
    4. Ronald W. Michener & Robert E. Wright, 2005. "State "Currencies" and the Transition to the U.S. Dollar: Clarifying Some Confusions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 682-703, June.
    5. Andrew K. Rose, 1999. "One Money, One Market: Estimating the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade," NBER Working Papers 7432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sylla, Richard, 2002. "Financial Systems And Economic Modernization," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(02), pages 277-292, June.
    7. Arthur J. Rolnick & Bruce D. Smith & Warren E. Weber, 1993. "In order to form a more perfect monetary union," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 2-13.
    8. Peter L. Rousseau, 2004. "A Common Currency: Early U.S. Monetary Policy and the Transition to the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 10702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Farley Grubb, 2004. "The Constitutional Creation of a Common Currency in the U.S., 1748-1811: Monetary Stabilization versus Merchant Rent Seeking," Working Papers 04-07, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    10. Calomiris, Charles W., 1988. "Institutional Failure, Monetary Scarcity, and the Depreciation of the Continental," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 47-68, March.
    11. Smith, Bruce D, 1985. "Some Colonial Evidence on Two Theories of Money: Maryland and the Carolinas," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1178-1211, December.
    12. Peter L. Rousseau, 2007. "Backing, the Quantity Theory, and the Transition to the U.S. Dollar, 1723-1850," NBER Working Papers 12835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Sargent, Thomas J & Smith, Bruce D, 1987. "Irrelevance of Open Market Operations in Some Economies with Government Currency Being Dominated in Rate of Return," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 78-92, March.
    14. Michener, Ronald, 1987. "Fixed exchange rates and the quantity theory in colonial America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 233-307, January.
    15. Gorton, Gary, 1996. "Reputation Formation in Early Bank Note Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 346-97, April.
    16. West, Robert Craig, 1978. "Money in the Colonial American Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(1), pages 1-15, January.
    17. Bruce D. Smith, 1988. "The relationship between money and prices: some historical evidence reconsidered," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 18-32.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11739. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.