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|
|Date of revision:|
|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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- John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1996.
"A Scorecard for Indexed Government Debt,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1125, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Robert J. Shiller, 1991. "Arithmetic Repeat Sales Price Estimators," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 971, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Willard C. Fisher, 1913. "The Tabular Standard in Massachusetts History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 417-454.
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