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The Economics of International Monies

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  • Gerald P. Dwyer Jr.

    (The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

  • James R. Lothian

    (Fordham University)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the history of international monies and the theory related to their adoption and use. We summarize the history of international monies, beginning with a discussion of the gold solidus introduced in the fourth century by the Emperor Constantine, continuing with the currencies of the Italian city states and ending with the currencies that have functioned as international monies from the early modern period to the present. We identify 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. We conclude with a theoretical discussion of these common characteristics that explains much of this history.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/if/papers/0311/0311010.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Finance with number 0311010.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 17 Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0311010

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 37
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. H Rey, 1997. "International Trade and Currency Exchange," CEP Discussion Papers dp0322, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr. & James R. Lothian, 2002. "International money and common currencies in historical perspective," Working Paper 2002-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael D. Bordo, 1992. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: An Historical Overview," NBER Working Papers 4033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Darby, Michael R. & Lothian, James R. & Gandolfi, Arthur E. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1983. "The International Transmission of Inflation," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226136417, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Bagella, Michele & Becchetti, Leonardo & Hasan, Iftekhar, 2004. "The anticipated and concurring effects of the EMU: exchange rate volatility, institutions and growth," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 1053-1080.
  2. Michele Bagella & Leonardo Becchetti & Iftekhar Hasan, 2004. "The Anticipated and Concurring Effects of the EMU," CEIS Research Paper 55, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  3. Elias Papaioannou & Richard Portes, 2008. "The international role of the euro: a status report," European Economy - Economic Papers 317, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  4. Bagella , Michele & Becchetti , Leonardo & Hasan , Iftekhar, 2004. "The anticipated and concurring effects of EMU: exchange rate volatility, institutions and growth," Research Discussion Papers 15/2004, Bank of Finland.
  5. Ewe-Ghee Lim, 2006. "The Euro's Challenge to the Dollar," IMF Working Papers 06/153, International Monetary Fund.

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