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International Money and Common Currencies in Historical Perspective

  • Gerald P. Dwyer

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta - Research Department)

  • James R. Lothian

    ()

    (Fordham University - Graduate School of Business)

The authors review the history of international monies and the theory related to their adoption and use. There are four key characteristics of these currencies: high unitary value; relatively low inflation rates for long periods; issuance by major economic and trading powers; and spontaneous, as opposed to planned, adoption internationally. The economic theory of the demand for money provides support for the importance of these characteristics. The value of a unit is arbitrary for a fiat money, but the other characteristics are likely to be important for determining any fiat money that will be the international money in the future. If the euro continues to exist for the next half century or so and has a relatively stable value, the authors conclude that the euro is likely to be serious competition for the dollar as the international money.

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 9.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 25 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:9
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  1. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2006. "The conquest of South American inflation," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2006-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Anna J. Schwartz, 2001. "Assessing the Euro three years after its launch," The Region, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Dec, pages 14-16.
  3. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-41, February.
  4. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  5. Lopez, Robert Sabatino, 1951. "The Dollar of the Middle Ages," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 209-234, June.
  6. Michael R. Darby & James R. Lothian & Arthur E. Gandolfi & Anna J. Schwartz & Alan C. Stockman, 1983. "The International Transmission of Inflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number darb83-1, October.
  7. Arthur J. Rolnick & Francois R. Velde & Warren E. Weber, 1997. "The debasement puzzle: an essay on medieval monetary history," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 8-20.
  8. Michael D. Bordo, 1992. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: An Historical Overview," NBER Working Papers 4033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Matsuyama, Kiminori & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Matsui, Akihiko, 1993. "Toward a Theory of International Currency," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 283-307, April.
  10. Selgin, G., 1993. "On Ensuring the Acceptability of a New Fiat Money," Papers 368, Georgia - College of Business Administration, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
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