The Continental Dollar: Initial Design, Ideal Performance, and the Credibility of Congressional Commitment
An alternative history of the Continental Dollar is constructed from the original resolutions passed by Congress. The Continental Dollar was a zero-interest bearer bond, not a fiat currency. The public could redeem it at face value in specie at fixed future dates. Being a zero-interest bearer bond, discounting must be separated from depreciation. Before 1779 there was no depreciation, only discounting. In 1779 and again in 1780 Congress passed ex post facto laws which altered the redemption dates of past Continental Dollars in ways that were not fiscally credible. These laws were the turning point. Depreciation and collapse followed.
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- 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.
- Van Hove, Leo, 2001. "Optimal Denominations for Coins and Bank Notes: In Defense of the Principle of Least Effort," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(4), pages 1015-21, November.
- Alvin Rabushka, 2008. "Introduction to Taxation in Colonial America," Introductory Chapters, in: Taxation in Colonial America Princeton University Press.
- Telser, L. G., 1995. "Optimal denominations for coins and currency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 425-427, October.
- Farley Grubb, 2007.
"The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued?,"
NBER Working Papers
13047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Farley Grubb, 2007. "The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued ?," Working Papers 07-09, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
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