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The economics of international monies

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  • Gerald P. Dwyer
  • James R. Lothian

Abstract

The economics of international monies is likely to be informative about the future of the euro. The authors summarize the history of international monies, from the gold solidus introduced in the fourth century to the present. They identify four common characteristics of these currencies: high unitary value; relatively low inflation rates; issuance by major economic and trading powers; and spontaneous, as opposed to planned, adoption. Recent theoretical literature supports the importance of the characteristics, while recent theories’ common implication of multiple equilibria supports the importance of spontaneous adoption as developed by Menger and Hayek.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerald P. Dwyer & James R. Lothian, 2003. "The economics of international monies," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-37, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2003-37
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hélène Rey, 2001. "International Trade and Currency Exchange," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 443-464.
    2. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    3. Darby, Michael R. & Lothian, James R. & Gandolfi, Arthur E. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1983. "The International Transmission of Inflation," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226136417.
    4. Lopez, Robert Sabatino, 1951. "The Dollar of the Middle Ages," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 209-234, June.
    5. Selgin, George A, 1994. "On Ensuring the Acceptability of a New Fiat Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(4), pages 808-826, November.
    6. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-141, February.
    7. Gerald P. Dwyer & James R. Lothian, 2002. "International money and common currencies in historical perspective," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2002-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-954, August.
    9. Arthur J. Rolnick & Francois R. Velde & Warren E. Weber, 1997. "The debasement puzzle: an essay on medieval monetary history," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 8-20.
    10. Michael D. Bordo, 1993. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: A Historical Overview," NBER Chapters,in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 3-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Harold Demsetz, 1968. "The Cost of Transacting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 33-53.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ewe-Ghee Lim, 2006. "The Euro’s Challenge to the Dollar; Different Views from Economists and Evidence from COFER (Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves) and Other Data," IMF Working Papers 06/153, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Bagella, Michele & Becchetti, Leonardo & Hasan, Iftekhar, 2004. "The anticipated and concurring effects of the EMU: exchange rate volatility, institutions and growth," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 1053-1080.
    3. Elias Papaioannou & Richard Portes, 2008. "The international role of the euro: a status report," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 317, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    4. Michele Bagella & Leonardo Becchetti & Iftekhar Hasan, 2004. "The Anticipated and Concurring Effects of the EMU," CEIS Research Paper 55, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

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