IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sha/ecowps/01-03-2013.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fiscal Discriminations in Three Wars

Author

Listed:
  • George J. Hall
  • Thomas J. Sargent

Abstract

In 1790, a U.S. paper dollar was widely held in disrepute (something shoddy was not ‘worth a Continental’). By 1879, a U.S. paper dollar had become ‘as good as gold.’ These outcomes emerged from how the U.S. federal government financed three wars: the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. In the beginning, the U.S. government discriminated greatly in the returns it paid to different classes of creditors; but that pattern of discrimination diminished over time in ways that eventually rehabilitated the reputation of federal paper money as a store of value.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, "undated". "Fiscal Discriminations in Three Wars," Economics Working Papers 01-03/2013, School of Business Administration, American University of Sharjah.
  • Handle: RePEc:sha:ecowps:01-03/2013
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://dspace.aus.edu:8443/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11073/5885/WPS_Hall-Sargent.pdf?sequence=1
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    2. Christopher Phelan & Robert M. Townsend, 1991. "Computing Multi-Period, Information-Constrained Optima," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 853-881.
    3. Farley Grubb, 2011. "State Redemption of the Continental Dollar, 1779-1790," NBER Working Papers 17209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sargent, Thomas J., 2006. "Ambiguity in American monetary and fiscal policy," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 324-330, August.
    5. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-652, August.
    6. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-1089, July.
    7. McCandless, George T, Jr, 1996. "Money, Expectations, and U.S. Civil War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 661-671, June.
    8. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    9. John Bryant & Neil Wallace, 1984. "A Price Discrimination Analysis of Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 279-288.
    10. Wallace, Neil, 1981. "A Modigliani-Miller Theorem for Open-Market Operations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 267-274, June.
    11. Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Private Government Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1217-1239.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    13. Frank Whitson Fetter, 1950. "Legal Tender during the English and Irish Bank Restrictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 241-241.
    14. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
    15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1986. "Principles of fiscal and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 117-134, January.
    16. Sargent, Thomas J & Velde, Francois R, 1995. "Macroeconomic Features of the French Revolution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 474-518, June.
    17. Drew Fudenberg & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Reputation in the Simultaneous Play of Multiple Opponents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 541-568.
    18. Garber, Peter M., 1991. "Alexander Hamilton's market-based debt reduction plan," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 79-104, January.
    19. Sleet, Christopher & Yeltekin, Sevin, 2006. "Optimal taxation with endogenously incomplete debt markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 36-73, March.
    20. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
    21. Sims, Christopher A, 2001. "Fiscal Consequences for Mexico of Adopting the Dollar," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 597-616, May.
    22. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E. & Rossi, Peter E., 1997. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 93-117, March.
    23. Christophe Chamley & Herakles Polemarchakis, 1984. "Assets, General Equilibrium and the Neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 129-138.
    24. Farley Grubb, 2008. "The Continental Dollar: What Happened to It after 1779?," NBER Working Papers 13770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Peled, Dan, 1985. "Stochastic inflation and government provision of indexed bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 291-308, May.
    26. Kagin, Donald H., 1984. "Monetary Aspects of the Treasury Notes of the War of 1812," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 69-88, March.
    27. J. Michael Harrison & David M. Kreps, 1978. "Speculative Investor Behavior in a Stock Market with Heterogeneous Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(2), pages 323-336.
    28. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Hall and Sargent: Fiscal Prioritization: Lessons from Three Wars
      by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2013-05-18 22:49:18

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Marco Bassetto & Zhen Huo & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2018. "Organizational Equilibrium with Capital," Working Paper Series WP-2018-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. D’Erasmo, P. & Mendoza, E.G. & Zhang, J., 2016. "What is a Sustainable Public Debt?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2493-2597, Elsevier.
    3. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2017. "The Public Debt Crisis of the United States," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85, pages 1-32, September.
    4. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2016. "Distributional Incentives In An Equilibrium Model Of Domestic Sovereign Default," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-44, February.
    5. Francois R. Velde, 2016. "What We Learn from a Sovereign Debt Restructuring in France in 1721," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue 5, pages 1-17.
    6. E. Mengus, 2014. "International Bailouts: Why Did Banks' Collective Bet Lead Europe to Rescue Greece?," Working papers 502, Banque de France.
    7. Enrique Mendoza, 2015. "EconomicDynamics Interviews Enrique Mendoza on Sovereign Debt," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), April.
    8. Ohanian, Lee E., 2014. "The impact of monetary policy in the midst of big shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 35-48.
    9. D’Erasmo, Pablo & Mendoza, Enrique G., 2021. "History remembered: Optimal sovereign default on domestic and external debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 969-989.
    10. Schelkle, Waltraud, 2017. "Hamilton’s Paradox Revisited: Alternative lessons from US history," CEPS Papers 12963, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    11. Leeper, E.M. & Leith, C., 2016. "Understanding Inflation as a Joint Monetary–Fiscal Phenomenon," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2305-2415, Elsevier.
    12. Giulia Ghiani & Max Gillman & Michal Kejak, 2014. "Money, Banking and Interest Rates: Monetary Policy Regimes with Markov-Switching VECM Evidence," Working Papers 1003, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.
    13. Demian Pouzo & Ignacio Presno, 2015. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Default under Incomplete Markets," Papers 1508.03924, arXiv.org, revised May 2016.
    14. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique Mendoza, 2011. "Optimal Domestic (and External) Sovereign Default," PIER Working Paper Archive 16-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Aug 2016.
    15. Mr. Atish R. Ghosh & Ugo Panizza & Mr. Andrea F Presbitero & Antonio Fatás, 2019. "The Motives to Borrow," IMF Working Papers 2019/101, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Jonathan Stone & Jeffrey Wagner, 2016. "Fairness and efficiency in US Revolutionary War takings and post-war debt redemption," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 399-417, December.
    17. Demian Pouzo & Ignacio Presno, 2020. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Default under Incomplete Markets," International Finance Discussion Papers 1297, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Elizabeth Brainerd & Nidhiya Menon, 2013. "Religion and Health in Early Childhood: Evidence from the Indian Subcontinent," Working Papers 65, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2006. "Modern Macroeconomics in Practice: How Theory Is Shaping Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 3-28, Fall.
    3. Angyridis, Constantine, 2009. "Balanced budget vs. Tax smoothing in a small open economy: A welfare comparison," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 438-463, September.
    4. Leeper, E.M. & Leith, C., 2016. "Understanding Inflation as a Joint Monetary–Fiscal Phenomenon," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2305-2415, Elsevier.
    5. Kenneth Kletzer, 2006. "International Financial Integration, Sovereignty, and Constraints on Macroeconomic Policies," IMF Working Papers 2006/079, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes & Pierre Yared, 2017. "Optimal Time-Consistent Government Debt Maturity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(1), pages 55-102.
    7. Alessandro Dovis, 2013. "Efficient Sovereign Default," 2013 Meeting Papers 293, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Du, Houyang & Guo, Ye & Liu, Xuan, 2018. "How does the timing of markets affect optimal monetary and fiscal policy in sticky price models?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 237-248.
    9. Mark Dincecco, 2010. "The Political Economy Of Fiscal Prudence In Historical Perspective," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 1-36, March.
    10. Marcet, Albert & Scott, Andrew, 2009. "Debt and deficit fluctuations and the structure of bond markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 473-501, March.
    11. Lars Peter Hansen & Anastasios G. Karantounias & Thomas J. Sargent, 2009. "Managing expectations and fiscal policy," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2009-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    12. Jukka Railavo, 2005. "Monetary Concequences of Alternative Fiscal Policy Rules," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 145, Society for Computational Economics.
    13. Cassou, Steven P. & Lansing, Kevin J., 1998. "Optimal fiscal policy, public capital, and the productivity slowdown," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 911-935, June.
    14. Martin, Fernando M., 2015. "Debt, inflation and central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 129-150.
    15. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
    16. Anastasios G. Karantounias, 2009. "Ramsey Taxation and fear of misspecification," 2009 Meeting Papers 822, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory: An Exploration," NBER Working Papers 2869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Baltasar Manzano & Jesús Ruiz, 2004. "Política fiscal óptima: el estado de la cuestión," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 28(1), pages 5-41, January.
    19. Azzimonti, Marina & Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2016. "The costs and benefits of balanced budget rules: Lessons from a political economy model of fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 45-61.
    20. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    repudiation; reputation; discrimination; legal tender; greenbacks; Alexander Hamilton; Albert Gallatin; Ulysses S. Grant;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sha:ecowps:01-03/2013. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deausae.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Hamza Saleem The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Hamza Saleem to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deausae.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.