Bimetallism: An Economic and Historical Analysis
This book presents a history of Western monetary systems and explains why the system was preferred to a gold standard before 1800. Professor Redish argues that the technological ability to issue fiduciary monies, and a commitment mechanism to prevent opportunistic governments changing the ratio between the currency and a unit of gold, were (frequently overlooked) prerequisites for the emergence of the Classical gold standard. The simplicity of the gold standard, a monetary system where there is a fixed ratio between a weight of gold and a unit of currency, makes it an obvious focus for discussion of commodity money systems, and for contrasts with today's fiat money regimes; there is a vast literature on its rise and fall.
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adopted argued bank notes billon billon coins bimetallic standard Boulton Boulton and Watt Chapter circulation clipping Committee commodity money commodity money standards convertibility copper coins costs counterfeiting countries Craig currency debasement debate demonetized denier denomination coins depreciation écu au soleil écu de couronne England and France equivalent export facto gold standard fiat money fineness franc coins French gold and silver gold coinage gold coins gold or silver gold standard grains grams Gresham's Law increase issue legal tender legislation limited legal tender livres tournois louis marc market price medium of exchange metal minted minted coins monetary authorities monetary regime monetary standards monetary system monometallic multiple denominations nineteenth century numeraire overvalued Paris penny 1d pound weight premium price of gold problems profitable ratio recoinage reduced revenue seignorage rate shillings silver standard small-denomination coins soleil écu stability teston token coins trade Treasury undervaluation unit of account value of gold