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Farley Grubb’s Noisy Evasions on Colonial Money: A Rejoinder

Listed author(s):
  • Ronald W. Michener
  • Robert E. Wright
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    GRUBB’S RECENT PAPERS (2003, 2004, 2006B) ARE AIMED AT nothing less than rewriting important chapters of early American history. Our goal in both our AER and EJW comments was a negative one, to dissuade readers from accepting Grubb’s views and data. We are humbled by the complexity of the early American monetary system and the meagerness of the available evidence. We nowhere make the blanket claims that Grubb attributes to us, namely, that specie was plentiful, that exchange rates were immutable, or that cross-colony circulation of bills of credit was ubiquitous. Instead, we offer evidence that at some times and places specie was more abundant than Grubb claims, that most colonial exchange rates oscillated within broad specie points, and that bills of credit often circulated in adjacent colonies. And again, we make such claims with one point only in mind, to alert scholars that Grubb’s interpretation is highly suspect.

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    Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 251-274

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    Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:3:y:2006:i:2:p:251-274
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    1. Weiss, Roger W., 1970. "The Issue of Paper Money in the American Colonies, 1720–1774," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(04), pages 770-784, December.
    2. Farley Grubb, 2003. "Creating the U.S. Dollar Currency Union, 1748–1811: A Quest for Monetary Stability or a Usurpation of State Sovereignty for Personal Gain?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1778-1798, December.
    3. Michener, Ron, 1988. "Backing Theories and the Currencies of Eighteenth-Century America: A Comment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(03), pages 682-692, September.
    4. Ronald W. Michener & Robert E. Wright, 2005. "State "Currencies" and the Transition to the U.S. Dollar: Clarifying Some Confusions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 682-703, June.
    5. Grubb, Farley, 2004. "The circulating medium of exchange in colonial Pennsylvania, 1729-1775: new estimates of monetary composition, performance, and economic growth," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 329-360, October.
    6. Farley Grubb, 2006. "Theory, Evidence, and Belief—The Colonial Money Puzzle Revisited: Reply to Michener and Wright," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(1), pages 45-72, January.
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