The debasement puzzle: an essay on medieval monetary policy
AbstractThis paper establishes the stylized fact that medieval debasements were accompanied by unusually large minting volumes and revenues. This fact is a puzzle under the commonly held view that metallic coins are commodity money and exchange by weight. An existing explanation is that debased coins were used to reduce the real burden of nominally denominated debts. This explanation is logically flawed: nothing prevents agents from renegotiating contracts and avoid incurring minting costs. The paper also establishes other facts about monetary mutations, which altogether pose a challenge to monetary economics.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 536.
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic History (Vol 56, Num 4, December 1996, pp. 798-808)
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- Francois R. Velde & Warren E. Weber & Randall Wright, 1997.
"A model of commodity money, with applications to Gresham's Law and the debasement puzzle,"
Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues
WP-97-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- François R. Velde & Warren E. Weber & Randall Wright, 1999. "A Model of Commodity Money, with Applications to Gresham's Law and the Debasement Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 291-323, January.
- Francois R. Velde & Warren E. Weber & Randall Wright, . "A Model of Commodity Money, With Application to Gresham's Law and the Debasement Puzzle," CARESS Working Papres 97-7, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Francois R. Velde & Warren E. Weber & Randall Wright, 1997. "A model of commodity money, with applications to Gresham's law and the debasement puzzle," Staff Report 215, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Young Sik Kim & Manjong Lee, 2011. "Unit of Account, Medium of Exchange, and Prices," Discussion Paper Series 1104, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
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