The Invention of Inflation-Indexed Bonds in Early America
AbstractThe world's first known inflation-indexed bonds were issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1780 during the Revolutionary War. These bonds were invented to deal with severe wartime inflation and with angry discontent among soldiers in the U.S. Army with the decline in purchasing power of their pay. Although the bonds were successful, the concept of indexed bonds was abandoned after the immediate extreme inflationary environment passed, and largely forgotten until the twentieth century. In 1780, the bonds were viewed as at best only an irregular expedient, since there was no formulated economic theory to justify indexation.
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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Other versions of this item:
- Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "The Invention of Inflation-Indexed Bonds in Early America," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1442, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
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- NEP-ALL-2004-01-05 (All new papers)
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