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Maximizing Seignorage Revenue During Temporary Suspensions of Convertibility: A Note

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  • Michael Bordo
  • Angela Redish

Abstract

This note extends the theory of the revenue maximizing rate of monetary growth to the case of a temporary suspension of convertibility. It also suggests a methodology for the interpretation of monetary behavior during historical periods of inconvertibility. First we analyze the case of a government with a monopoly over currency issue. The government maximizes seignorage revenue by generating an inflation, but the terminal condition of a return to convertibility implies that the price level must drop at the point of suspension of convertibility, so that there is no discontinuity at the date of resumption. We then consider the behavior of a private banking system whose monetary liabilities are temporarily inconvertible. The model is then used to interpret monetary behaviour during the suspension of convertibility by U.S. banks in 1837/8.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Bordo & Angela Redish, 1992. "Maximizing Seignorage Revenue During Temporary Suspensions of Convertibility: A Note," NBER Working Papers 4024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4024
    Note: DAE ME
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Auernheimer, Leonardo, 1983. "The Revenue-Maximizing Inflation Rate and the Treatment of the Transition to Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(3), pages 368-376, August.
    2. Michael D. Bordo & Eugene N. White, 1990. "British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars," NBER Working Papers 3517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Fama, Eugene F., 1980. "Banking in the theory of finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 39-57, January.
    4. Auernheimer, Leonardo, 1974. "The Honest Government's Guide to the Revenue from the Creation of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 598-606, May/June.
    5. Michael D. Bordo & Finn E. Kydland, 1990. "The Gold Standard as a Rule," NBER Working Papers 3367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Smith, Gregor W & Smith, R Todd, 1990. "Stochastic Process Switching and the Return to Gold, 1925," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 164-175, March.
    7. Bordo, Michael D. & White, Eugene N., 1991. "A Tale of Two Currencies: British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(02), pages 303-316, June.
    8. Klein, Benjamin, 1974. "The Competitive Supply of Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 6(4), pages 423-453, November.
    9. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1987. "The optimal collection of seigniorage : Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 327-341, September.
    10. Calomiris, Charles W, 1994. "Price and Exchange Rate Determination during the Greenback Suspension," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 344-344, April.
    11. Friedman, Milton, 1971. "Government Revenue from Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 846-856, July-Aug..
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    Cited by:

    1. Jagjit S. Chadha & Elisa Newby, 2013. "’Midas, transmuting all, into paper’: the Bank of England and the Banque de France during the Napoleonic Wars," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1330, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Newby, Elisa, 2012. "The suspension of the gold standard as sustainable monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1498-1519.
    3. Nikolay Nenovsky & Kalin Hristov, 2001. "Official Eurozation of Bulgaria: Pluses and Minuses," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 1, pages 64-80.
    4. António Portugal Duarte & João Sousa Andrade, 2012. "How the Gold Standard functioned in Portugal: an analysis of some macroeconomic aspects," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 617-629, February.
    5. Ali Coskun Tunçer, 2013. "The Black Swan of the Golden Periphery: The Ottoman Empire during the Classical Gold Standard Era," Working Papers 14, Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge.
    6. Elisa Newby, 2007. "The Suspension of Cash Payments as a Monetary Regime," CDMA Working Paper Series 200707, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    7. P.Antipa, 2014. "How Fiscal Policy Affects the Price Level: Britain’s First Experience with Paper Money," Working papers 525, Banque de France.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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