The Continental Dollar: Initial Design, Ideal Performance, and the Credibility of Congressional Commitment
AbstractAn alternative history of the Continental Dollar is constructed from the original resolutions passed by Congress. The Continental Dollar was a zero-interest bearer bond, not a fiat currency. The public could redeem it at face value in specie at fixed future dates. Being a zero-interest bearer bond, discounting must be separated from depreciation. Before 1779 there was no depreciation, only discounting. In 1779 and again in 1780 Congress passed ex post facto laws which altered the redemption dates of past Continental Dollars in ways that were not fiscally credible. These laws were the turning point. Depreciation and collapse followed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11-15.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/departments/economics/department-economics/
More information through EDIRC
American Revolution; war financing; debt retirement; fiat money; bearer bonds; monetary denominations; congressional spending; currency depreciation; U.S. Constitution; founding fathers; Benjamin Franklin; state tax rates.;
Other versions of this item:
- Farley Grubb, 2011. "The Continental Dollar: Initial Design, Ideal Performance, and the Credibility of Congressional Commitment," NBER Working Papers 17276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
- E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
- G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
- H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
- N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-08-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2011-08-22 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-MAC-2011-08-22 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-MON-2011-08-22 (Monetary Economics)
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.:
- Farley Grubb, 2007.
"The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued ?,"
07-09, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
- Grubb, Farley, 2008. "The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(01), pages 283-291, March.
- Farley Grubb, 2007. "The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued?," NBER Working Papers 13047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Van Hove, Leo, 2001. "Optimal Denominations for Coins and Bank Notes: In Defense of the Principle of Least Effort," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(4), pages 1015-21, November.
- Alvin Rabushka, 2008.
"Introduction to Taxation in Colonial America
[Taxation in Colonial America]," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
- 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.
- Telser, L. G., 1995. "Optimal denominations for coins and currency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 425-427, October.
- Farley Grubb, 2012.
"Is Paper Money just Paper Money/ Experimentation and Local Variation in the Fiat Paper Monies Issued by the Colonial Government of British North America, 1690-1775: Part I,"
12-07, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
- Farley Grubb, 2012. "Is Paper Money Just Paper Money? Experimentation and Local Variation in the Fiat Paper Monies Issued by the Colonial Governments of British North America, 1690-1775: Part I," NBER Working Papers 17997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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