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The Continental Dollar: What Happened to It after 1779?

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  • Farley Grubb

    ()
    (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

Abstract

The U.S. Congress issued paper money called Continental Dollars to finance the American Revolution. The story of the Continental Dollar is familiar to all -- a lot were issued and hyper-inflation ensued. However, the details of this story are less well known. Scholars even disagree over how much was issued -- disagree by over 50 percent. Meaningful monetary analysis of the Continental Dollar cannot proceed given this confusion in the data. Evidence is gathered here to reconcile past estimates and establish the exact amount and time path of Continental Dollars emitted thereby overcoming the entropy that has crept into the historical record.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13770
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-09.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:08-09.

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Postal: Purnell Hall, Newark, Delaware 19716
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Fax: (302) 831-6968
Web page: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/departments/economics/department-economics/
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  1. Farley Grubb, 2007. "The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued?," NBER Working Papers 13047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Farley Grubb, 2007. "The Net Worth of the U.S. Federal Government, 1784-1802," Working Papers, University of Delaware, Department of Economics 07-02, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  4. Garber, Peter M., 1991. "Alexander Hamilton's market-based debt reduction plan," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 79-104, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Elizabeth Brainerd & Nidhiya Menon, 2013. "Religion and Health in Early Childhood: Evidence from the Indian Subcontinent," Working Papers, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School 65, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  2. Farley Grubb, 2008. "The Distribution of Congressional Spending During the American Revolution, 1775-1780: The Problem of Geographic Balance," NBER Working Papers 14267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 2013. "Fiscal Discriminations in Three Wars," Working Papers, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School 56, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.

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