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The Continental Dollar: What Happened to It after 1779?

  • Farley Grubb

    ()

    (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13770
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Paper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-09.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:08-09.
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  1. Calomiris, Charles W., 1988. "Institutional Failure, Monetary Scarcity, and the Depreciation of the Continental," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 47-68, March.
  2. Grubb, Farley, 2008. "The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(01), pages 283-291, March.
  3. Peter M. Garber, 1991. "Alexander Hamilton's Market Based Debt Reduction Plan," NBER Working Papers 3597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
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