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An Economic Explanation of the Early Bank of Amsterdam, Debasement, Bills of Exchange, and the Emergence of the First Central Bank


Stephen Quinn


Texas Christian University - Department of Economics

William Roberds


Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

September 2006

FRB of Atlanta Working Paper No. 2006-13

Abstract:     
The Bank of Amsterdam, founded in 1609, was the first public bank to offer accounts not directly convertible to coin. As such, it can be described as the first true central bank. The debut of central bank money did not result from any conscious policy decision, however, but instead arose almost by accident, in response to the chaotic monetary conditions during the early years of the Dutch Republic. This paper examines the history of this momentous development from the perspective of modern monetary theory.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: money, central banks, coinage, debasement

JEL Classification: E42, E52, N13

working papers series


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Date posted: October 5, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Quinn, Stephen and Roberds, William, An Economic Explanation of the Early Bank of Amsterdam, Debasement, Bills of Exchange, and the Emergence of the First Central Bank (September 2006). FRB of Atlanta Working Paper No. 2006-13. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=934871 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.934871

Contact Information

Stephen Quinn
Texas Christian University - Department of Economics ( email )
Fort Worth, TX 76129
United States
William Roberds (Contact Author)
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ( email )
1000 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309-4470
United States
404-498-8970 (Phone)
404-498-8956 (Fax)
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