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Suppressing Asset Price Inflation: The Confederate Experience, 1861--1865

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

Confederate asset price stabilization policies appear to have increased the velocity of circulation and counterproductively channeled inflationary pressures into other areas of the economy. Three successive monetary reforms encouraged holders of Treasury notes to exchange these notes for bonds by imposing deadlines on their convertibility. We show that Confederate funding acts aimed at precipitating the conversion of currency into bonds did temporarily suppress currency depreciation. These acts also triggered upsurges in commodity prices, however, because note holders rushed to spend the currency before their exchange rights were reduced. (JEL E52, N21) Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 420-432

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:41:y:2003:i:3:p:420-432
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  1. Marc D. Weidenmier, . "Turning Points during the U.S. Civil War: Views from the Grayback Market," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-24, Claremont Colleges.
  2. Richard C.K. Burdekin & Marc D. Weidenmier, . "Inflation is Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon: Richmond vs. Houston in 1864," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-31, Claremont Colleges.
  3. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1999. "Monetary policy and asset price volatility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-128.
  4. Davis, George K. & Pecquet, Gary M., 1990. "Interest Rates in the Civil War South," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(01), pages 133-148, March.
  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. Weidenmier, Marc D., 2000. "The Market for Confederate Cotton Bonds," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 76-97, January.
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