The Wild Card: Colonial Paper Money in French North America, 1685 to 1719

28 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2017 Last revised: 3 Aug 2020

See all articles by Bryan Cutsinger

Bryan Cutsinger

Angelo State University - Accounting, Economics and Finance Department; Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute

Vincent Geloso

Bates College; University of Western Ontario - King's University College

Mathieu Bédard

Montreal Economic Institute; Aix-Marseille University - Aix-Marseille School of Economics

Date Written: July 31, 2020

Abstract

During the colonial era, the French colonial government in Canada experimented with paper money printed on the back of playing cards. The first experiment lasted from 1685 to 1719. In the first years, there was little inflation in spite of a rapidly expanding stock of playing card money. It is only in the later years of the experiment that prices rose. The behavior of the money stock and nominal output suggest that velocity fluctuated throughout the period. We argue here that these fluctuations can be explained by variations in the enforcement of legal tender laws. This interpretation provides insights into the debate over the inflationary impact of paper money in the colonial United States.

Keywords: redemption theory, Canadian economic history, money supply, monetary economics

JEL Classification: N11, N21, E42

Suggested Citation

Cutsinger, Bryan and Geloso, Vincent and Bédard, Mathieu, The Wild Card: Colonial Paper Money in French North America, 1685 to 1719 (July 31, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2995560 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2995560

Bryan Cutsinger

Angelo State University - Accounting, Economics and Finance Department ( email )

San Angelo, TX 76909
United States

Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute

Box 45059
Lubbock, TX 79409-5059
United States

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

Bates College ( email )

Department of Economics
Lewiston, ME
United States

University of Western Ontario - King's University College ( email )

266 Epworth Avenue
London, Ontario N6A 2M3
Canada

Mathieu Bédard

Montreal Economic Institute ( email )

910, rue Peel, bureau 600
Montreal, Quebec J7R 6Y9
Canada
514 273-0969 (Phone)
514 273-2581 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.iedm.org/

Aix-Marseille University - Aix-Marseille School of Economics ( email )

2 rue de la Charité
Marseille, 13236
France

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