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The 1628 Castilian crydown: A test of competing theories of the price level

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  • José Isidro García de Paso

    () (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Abstract

On August 7, 1628 the Castilian government halved overnight the nominal stock of money through the 50% crydown of its copper currency. The paper argues that this helicopter lift of money is a nice historical experiment to put to the test the empirical relevance of competing theories of the price level. The experiment shows how the post-crydown behaviour of the price level predicted by the weak form fiscal theory (the so-called Sargent-Wallace theory) matches actual data better than both the strong form fiscal theory and the quantity theory (the so-called monetarist theory). Classification-JEL : E31, E42, E63, E65, N13.

Suggested Citation

  • José Isidro García de Paso, 2002. "The 1628 Castilian crydown: A test of competing theories of the price level," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 163(4), pages 71-92, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2002:v:163:i:4:p:71-92
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McCallum, Bennett T., 2001. "Indeterminacy, bubbles, and the fiscal theory of price level determination," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 19-30, February.
    2. Croushore, Dean, 1993. "Money in the utility function: Functional equivalence to a shopping-time model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 175-182.
    3. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
    4. Woodford, Michael, 1995. "Price-level determinacy without control of a monetary aggregate," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-46, December.
    5. Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Christopher Phelan, 1999. "Explaining the fiscal theory of the price level," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 14-23.
    6. Buiter, Willem H., 1999. "The Fallacy of the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," CEPR Discussion Papers 2205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 1999. "Money growth and inflation: does fiscal policy matter?," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Apr.
    8. Cochrane, John H, 2001. "Long-Term Debt and Optimal Policy in the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 69-116, January.
    9. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Gertler, Mark, 1985. "The backing of government bonds and monetarism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-44, July.
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    Keywords

    crydown; monetarist theory; weak form fiscal theory; strong form fiscal theory.;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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