Quinn S. and Roberds W. (2006) When financial innovation’s good for the economy

August 18, 2009

Quinn, Stephen and Willam Roberds (2006) “An Economic Explanation of the Early Bank of Amsterdam, Debasement, Bills of Exchange and the Emergence of the First Central Bank”, Federal Bank of Atlanta. Working Papers Series, 13: 50p.*

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This paper is available online.

Introduction

The United Provinces suffered from what Adam Smith termed the “small state” problem: it was awash in foreign coin and had little control over their quality, thus suffered from their constant debasement (p.1). Debtors always have an incentive to pay their due with debased coins. But this practice is only viable if the seigniorage he pays to the mint is lower than the amount of silver he saves in the operation. De facto, there is collusion between the mint and the debtor against the creditor (p.4). Read the rest of this entry »


This Week in Economic History (May 11th-17th)

May 10, 2009

I work as an assistant to Dr. Luis Jáuregui, president of the Mexican Economic History Association (AMHE). One of my duties is to search and edit new contents for the Association’s webpage. Among other things, the Association offers a weekly agenda and a list of future events in economic history.

When I first began looking for and organizing information on economic history events of the region and the world, I faced several problems. Even though EH.net seemed like the obvious place to go, the site lacks information on seminars and conferences smaller than major congresses or anual meetings. For that thing one has to search in the webpages of different universities. The French Economic History Association has a very good calendar; however, it is obviously skewed with the many events related to economic history in France. E-mail lists such as the one from the Societies for the History of Economics,  H-World and H-Business also have events from which otherwise one would probably never know. The economic history associations of Latin America use to be very “local” in terms of the events they announce in their webpages.Thus one has to search in several sources what could probably be updated in a central database.

Read the rest of this entry »