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Fiscal Discriminations in Three Wars

George Hall and Thomas Sargent

Economics Working Papers from School of Business Administration, American University of Sharjah

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.

Keywords: repudiation; reputation; discrimination; legal tender; greenbacks; Alexander Hamilton; Albert Gallatin; Ulysses S. Grant (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
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Journal Article: Fiscal discriminations in three wars (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Fiscal Discriminations in Three Wars (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Fiscal Discriminations in Three Wars (2013) Downloads
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