The evolution of small change
Western Europe was plagued with currency shortages from the 14th to the 19th century, at which time a `standard formula' had been devised to cure the problem. We document the evolution of mon- etary theory, policy experiments and minting tech- nology over the course of six hundred years. In a companion paper, we use a cash-in-advance model of commodity money to provide an analytical frame- work for the problem of small change.
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