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International money and common currencies in historical perspective

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  • Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr.
  • James R. Lothian

Abstract

The authors review the history of international monies and the theory related to their adoption and use. There are four key characteristics of these currencies: high unitary value; relatively low inflation rates for long periods; issuance by major economic and trading powers; and spontaneous, as opposed to planned, adoption internationally. The economic theory of the demand for money provides support for the importance of these characteristics. The value of a unit is arbitrary for a fiat money, but the other characteristics are likely to be important for determining any fiat money that will be the international money in the future. If the euro continues to exist for the next half century or so and has a relatively stable value, the authors conclude that the euro is likely to be serious competition for the dollar as the international money.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2002-7.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2002-7

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Keywords: Economic history;

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References

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  1. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  2. Michael D. Bordo, 1993. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: An Historical Overview," NBER Working Papers 4033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  4. Matsuyama, Kiminori & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Matsui, Akihiko, 1993. "Toward a Theory of International Currency," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 283-307, April.
  5. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2006. "The Conquest of South American Inflation," NBER Working Papers 12606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael R. Darby & James R. Lothian & Arthur E. Gandolfi & Anna J. Schwartz & Alan C. Stockman, 1983. "The International Transmission of Inflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number darb83-1, May.
  7. Rolnick, Arthur J. & Velde, François R. & Weber, Warren E., 1996. "The Debasement Puzzle: An Essay on Medieval Monetary History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 789-808, December.
  8. Auernheimer, Leonardo, 1974. "The Honest Government's Guide to the Revenue from the Creation of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 598-606, May/June.
  9. Selgin, George A, 1994. "On Ensuring the Acceptability of a New Fiat Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(4), pages 808-26, November.
  10. Anna J. Schwartz, 2001. "Assessing the Euro three years after its launch," The Region, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Dec, pages 14-16.
  11. Lopez, Robert Sabatino, 1951. "The Dollar of the Middle Ages," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 209-234, June.
  12. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-41, February.
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Cited by:
  1. James R. Lothian, 2003. "The Internationalization of Money and Finance and the Globalization of Financial Markets," International Finance 0311003, EconWPA.
  2. Belhadj, Aam & bangake, Chrysost & Jedlane, NABIL, 2007. "Toward Maghreb monetary unification:what does the theory and history tell us?," MPRA Paper 40375, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. John Hawkins & Paul Masson, 2003. "Economic aspects of regional currency areas and the use of foreign currencies," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Regional currency areas and the use of foreign currencies, volume 17, pages 4-42 Bank for International Settlements.
  4. Gerald P. Dwyer Jr. & James R. Lothian, 2003. "The Economics of International Monies," International Finance 0311010, EconWPA.
  5. Juan Piñeiro Chousa, & Artur Tamazian, & Davit N. Melikyan,, 2008. "MARKET RISK DYNAMICS AND COMPETITIVENESS AFTER THE EURO: Evidence from EMU Members," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp916, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

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