Turning Points in the Civil War: Views from the Greenback Market
In early 1862, the United States government began issuing Greenbacks, a legal tender currency that was not convertible into gold. The government promised to redeem the Greenbacks in gold eventually, but speculators understood that the probability of redemption depended on Union Army military fortunes and political developments that affected the total cost of the war. To serve the speculative interest in gold, a market emerged for the purpose of trading Greenbacks for gold dollars. Because the market price of a Greenback reflected the public's perceptions of future war costs, the movement of these prices provides unique insights into how people at the time perceived various events. We use daily quotations of the gold price of Greenbacks to identify a set of dates during the Civil War that market participants regarded as turning points. In some cases, these dates coincide with events familiar from conventional historical accounts of the war. In other instances, however, market participants reacted strongly to events that historians have not viewed as very significant.
|Date of creation:||Dec 1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as American Economic Review, vol. 86, no. 4, pp. 1001-1018, September 1996.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Brown, Stephen J. & Warner, Jerold B., 1980. "Measuring security price performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 205-258, September.
- Burdekin Richard C. K. & Langdana Farrokh K., 1993. "War Finance in the Southern Confederacy, 1861-1865," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 352-376, July.
- Banerjee, Anindya & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1992.
"Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit-Root and Trend-Break Hypotheses: Theory and International Evidence,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 271-87, July.
- Anindya Banerjee & Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock, 1990. "Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit Root and Trend Break Hypothesis: Theory and International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Perron, Pierre, 1989.
"The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
- Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
- Calomiris, Charles W, 1994.
"Price and Exchange Rate Determination during the Greenback Suspension,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 344, April.
- Calomiris, Charles W, 1988. "Price and Exchange Rate Determination during the Greenback Suspension," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 719-50, December.
- David Romer, 1992.
"Rational Asset Price Movements Without News,"
NBER Working Papers
4121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roll, Richard, 1972. "Interest Rates and Price Expectations During the Civil War," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 476-498, June.
- Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5381. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.