Gresham's law or Gresham's fallacy?
The claim that bad money drives out good is one of the oldest and most cited in economics. Economists refer to this claim as Gresham’s law. Yet despite its seemingly universal acceptance, this claim does not warrant its status as a law. We find it has no convincing explanations and many overlooked exceptions. We propose an alternative hypothesis based on the costs of using a medium of exchange at a nonpar price: small-denomination currency undervalued at the mint tends to disappear from circulation while large-denomination currency usually circulates at premium. Examining a variety of historical episodes when market and legal prices were different, we find our “law” can explain history much better than Gresham’s.
|Date of creation:||1983|
|Publication status:||Published in Quarterly Review (Vol.10, n.1, Winter 1986, pp.17-24)|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 90 Hennepin Avenue, P.O. Box 291, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0291|
Phone: (612) 204-5000
Web page: http://minneapolisfed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/pubs/|
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.:
- Sargent, Thomas J. & Wallace, Meil, 1983. "A model of commodity money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 163-187.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:88. 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: (Jannelle Ruswick)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.