Turning Points in the Civil War: Views from the Greenback Market
AbstractIn early 1862, the United States government began issuing Greenbacks, a legal tender currency that was not convertible into gold. The government promised to redeem the Greenbacks in gold eventually, but speculators understood that the probability of redemption depended on Union Army military fortunes and political developments that affected the total cost of the war. To serve the speculative interest in gold, a market emerged for the purpose of trading Greenbacks for gold dollars. Because the market price of a Greenback reflected the public's perceptions of future war costs, the movement of these prices provides unique insights into how people at the time perceived various events. We use daily quotations of the gold price of Greenbacks to identify a set of dates during the Civil War that market participants regarded as turning points. In some cases, these dates coincide with events familiar from conventional historical accounts of the war. In other instances, however, market participants reacted strongly to events that historians have not viewed as very significant.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5381.
Date of creation: Dec 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as American Economic Review, vol. 86, no. 4, pp. 1001-1018, September 1996.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Willard, Kristen L & Guinnane, Timothy W & Rosen, Harvey S, 1996. "Turning Points in the Civil War: Views from the Greenback Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1001-18, September.
- N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
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.:
- Calomiris, Charles W, 1988.
"Price and Exchange Rate Determination during the Greenback Suspension,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 719-50, December.
- Calomiris, Charles W, 1994. "Price and Exchange Rate Determination during the Greenback Suspension," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 344, April.
- Neal,Larry, 1994. "The Rise of Financial Capitalism," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521457385.
- Burdekin Richard C. K. & Langdana Farrokh K., 1993. "War Finance in the Southern Confederacy, 1861-1865," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 352-376, July.
- Brown, Stephen J. & Warner, Jerold B., 1980. "Measuring security price performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 205-258, September.
- Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
- Romer, David, 1993.
"Rational Asset-Price Movements without News,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1112-30, December.
- Anindya Banerjee & Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock, 1990.
"Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit Root and Trend Break Hypothesis: Theory and International Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
3510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Banerjee, Anindya & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1992. "Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit-Root and Trend-Break Hypotheses: Theory and International Evidence," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 271-87, July.
- Perron, Pierre, 1989.
"The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
- Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
- Roll, Richard, 1972. "Interest Rates and Price Expectations During the Civil War," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 476-498, June.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.