IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

An economic explanation of the early Bank of Amsterdam, debasement, bills of exchange, and the emergence of the first central bank

  • Stephen F. Quinn
  • William Roberds

The Bank of Amsterdam, founded in 1609, was the first public bank to offer accounts not directly convertible to coin. As such, it can be described as the first true central bank. The debut of central bank money did not result from any conscious policy decision, however, but instead arose almost by accident, in response to the chaotic monetary conditions during the early years of the Dutch Republic. This paper examines the history of this momentous development from the perspective of modern monetary theory.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper with number 2006-13.

in new window

Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2006-13
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1000 Peachtree St., N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Phone: 404-521-8500
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Sussman, Nathan & Zeira, Joseph, 2003. "Commodity money inflation: theory and evidence from France in 1350-1436," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1769-1793, November.
  2. William Roberds & Stephen Quinn, 2005. "The Big Problem of Large Bills: The Bank of Amsterdam and the Origins of Central Banking," 2005 Meeting Papers 318, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Neal, Larry, 2000. "How it all began: the monetary and financial architecture of Europe during the first global capital markets, 1648 1815," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 117-140, October.
  4. Thomas J. Sargent & Francois R. Velde, 1997. "The big problem of small change," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Redish, Angela, 1990. "The Evolution of the Gold Standard in England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(04), pages 789-805, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2006-13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Elaine Clokey)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.