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Things Governments Do to Money: A Recent History of Currency Reform Schemes and Scams


  • Mas, Ignacio


Confiscation of currency has sometimes occurred through the fine print of currency reforms. While only a small fraction of currency reforms worldwide have masked a confiscation, when they don't they are likely to follow a hyperinflationary bout. Thus, one way or another, currency reforms are emblematic of government reneging on its most idiosyncratic liability or extracting monopoly rents from its provision of exchange medium. This paper reviews the international experience with currency reforms over the last fifty years. It focuses on the purported justifications, mechanism for implementation, common pitfalls, and revenues associated with actual discriminatory currency conversion exercises. Copyright 1995 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG

Suggested Citation

  • Mas, Ignacio, 1995. "Things Governments Do to Money: A Recent History of Currency Reform Schemes and Scams," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 483-512.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:48:y:1995:i:4:p:483-512

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hoffmann, Johannes & Homburg, Stefan, 1990. "Explaining the Rise and Decline of the Dollar," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 53-68.
    2. Meese, Richard, 1990. "Currency Fluctuations in the Post-Bretton Woods Era," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 117-134, Winter.
    3. Rolf Schneider, 1989. "Is the performance of the dollar a random process?," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 24(4), pages 155-160, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mushin, Jerry, 2010. "New decimal currencies' relationships with their predecessors," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 316-318, April.
    2. Andreas Freytag, 2005. "The credibility of monetary reform – New evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 391-409, September.
    3. Besancenot, Damien & Rocheteau, Guillaume & Vranceanu, Radu, 2000. "Search, Price Illusion and Welfare," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 109-124, January.
    4. Angelos A. Antzoulatos, 1996. "Capital flows & current account deficits in the 1990s: why did Latin America & East Asian countries respond differently?," Research Paper 9610, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Ball, R., 1999. "The Institutional Foundations of Monetary Commitment: A Comparative Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(10), pages 1821-1842, October.

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