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The Continental Dollar: What Happened to It after 1779?

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  • Farley Grubb

    () (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

Abstract

The U.S. Congress issued paper money called Continental Dollars to finance the American Revolution. The story of the Continental Dollar is familiar to all -- a lot were issued and hyper-inflation ensued. However, the details of this story are less well known. Scholars even disagree over how much was issued -- disagree by over 50 percent. Meaningful monetary analysis of the Continental Dollar cannot proceed given this confusion in the data. Evidence is gathered here to reconcile past estimates and establish the exact amount and time path of Continental Dollars emitted thereby overcoming the entropy that has crept into the historical record.

Suggested Citation

  • Farley Grubb, 2008. "The Continental Dollar: What Happened to It after 1779?," Working Papers 08-09, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:08-09.
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13770
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Farley Grubb, 2007. "The Net Worth of the US Federal Government, 1784–1802," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 280-284, May.
    2. Calomiris, Charles W., 1988. "Institutional Failure, Monetary Scarcity, and the Depreciation of the Continental," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 47-68, March.
    3. Garber, Peter M., 1991. "Alexander Hamilton's market-based debt reduction plan," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 79-104, January.
    4. Grubb, Farley, 2008. "The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 283-291, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Farley Grubb, 2008. "The Distribution of Congressional Spending During the American Revolution, 1775-1780: The Problem of Geographic Balance," Working Papers 08-21, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    2. Hall, George J. & Sargent, Thomas J., 2014. "Fiscal discriminations in three wars," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 148-166.
    3. Elizabeth Brainerd & Nidhiya Menon, 2013. "Religion and Health in Early Childhood: Evidence from the Indian Subcontinent," Working Papers 65, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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