The Invention of Inflation-Indexed Bonds in Early America
The world's first known inflation-indexed bonds were issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1780 during the Revolutionary War. These bonds were invented to deal with severe wartime inflation and with angry discontent among soldiers in the U.S. Army with the decline in purchasing power of their pay. Although the bonds were successful, the concept of indexed bonds was abandoned after the immediate extreme inflationary environment passed, and largely forgotten until the twentieth century. In 1780, the bonds were viewed as at best only an irregular expedient, since there was no formulated economic theory to justify indexation.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2003|
|Publication status:||published as Goetzmann, William N. and Geert K. Rouwenhorst (eds.) The Origins of Value: The Financial Innovations that Created Modern Capital Markets. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.|
|Note:||DAE EFG ME|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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References listed on IDEAS
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NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 155-208
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1996. "A Scorecard for Indexed Government Debt," NBER Working Papers 5587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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