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The economics of international monies

  • Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr.
  • James R. Lothian

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.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2003-37.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2003-37
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  1. 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.
  2. H Rey, 1997. "International Trade and Currency Exchange," CEP Discussion Papers dp0322, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. 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 808-26, November.
  4. Michael D. Bordo, 1992. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: An Historical Overview," NBER Working Papers 4033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gerald P. Dwyer Jr. & James R. Lothian, 2003. "International Money and Common Currencies in Historical Perspective," International Finance 0311005, EconWPA.
  6. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  7. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-41, February.
  8. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael R. Darby & James R. Lothian & Arthur E. Gandolfi & Anna J. Schwartz & Alan C. Stockman, 1983. "The International Transmission of Inflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number darb83-1.
  10. 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.
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