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Inflation Is Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon: Richmond vs. Houston in 1864

  • Richard C. K. Burdekin
  • Marc D. Weidenmier

On April 1, 1864 the Confederate Currency Reform Act reduced the money supply in the Eastern Confederacy by one third. The delayed implementation of the reform west of the Mississippi provides a counterfactual view of what may have happened in the east had the reform not been enacted. This episode is a natural experiment illustrating the relative importance for prices of war news vs. the quantity of money in circulation. Our analysis of the major eastern and western gold markets, Richmond and Houston, strongly suggests that money matters more than war news in the post-reform period.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.91.5.1621
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 91 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1621-1630

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:91:y:2001:i:5:p:1621-1630
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.91.5.1621
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  1. Pecquet, Gary M., 1987. "Money in the trans-Mississippi confederacy and the confederate currency reform act of 1864," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 218-243, April.
  2. 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.
  3. Kristen L. Willard & Timothy W. Guinnane & Harvey S. Rosen, 1995. "Turning Points in the Civil War: Views from the Greenback Market," NBER Working Papers 5381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marc D. Weidenmier, . "Turning Points during the U.S. Civil War: Views from the Grayback Market," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-24, Claremont Colleges.
  5. Osterwald-Lenum, Michael, 1992. "A Note with Quantiles of the Asymptotic Distribution of the Maximum Likelihood Cointegration Rank Test Statistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 461-72, August.
  6. William O. Brown, Jr. & Richard C.K. Burdekin, . "Turning Points in the U.S. Civil War: A British Perspective," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-29, Claremont Colleges.
  7. McCandless, George T, Jr, 1996. "Money, Expectations, and U.S. Civil War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 661-71, June.
  8. 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.
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