Monetary Populism in Nineteenth-Century America: An Open Economy Interpretation
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CitationFrieden, Jeffry A. 1997. Monetary populism in nineteenth-century America: An open economy interpretation. Journal of Economic History 57(2): 367-395.
AbstractThe battle over gold is typically explained as driven by proinflation debtors. However, going off gold would also have caused a depreciation, raising tradable prices relative to nontradables prices and helping producers of exportable primary products. An analysis of Congressional votes on monetary legislation indicates that higher constituency debt levels were not associated with opposition to gold, whereas mining and agricultural production were. This suggests that gold politics was at least as much about the impact of the exchange rate on relative prices as it was about inflation of the overall price level.
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