NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued?

Farley Grubb

NBER Working Paper No. 13047
Issued in April 2007
NBER Program(s):   DAE   ME

The U.S. Congress issued paper money called Continental Dollars to finance the American Revolution. The story of the Continental Dollar is familiar to all -- a lot were issued and hyper-inflation ensued. However, the details of this story are less well known. Scholars even disagree over how much was issued -- disagree by over 50 percent. Meaningful monetary analysis of the Continental Dollar cannot proceed given this confusion in the data. Evidence is gathered here to reconcile past estimates and establish the exact amount and time path of Continental Dollars emitted thereby overcoming the entropy that has crept into the historical record.

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This paper was revised on December 19, 2007

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13047

Published: Grubb, Farley, 2008. "The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(01), pages 283-291, March.

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