War Debt, Moral Hazard, and the Financing of the Confederacy

JOURNAL OF MONEY, CREDIT, AND BANKING, Vol. 28, No. 2, May 1996

Posted: 11 Sep 1996

See all articles by Herschel I. Grossman

Herschel I. Grossman

Deceased

Taejoon Han

The Sejong Institute; Brown University - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper develops a formal model of war spending and external borrowing and quantifies this model for the case of the American Confederacy. Our proximate objective is to determine why the Confederacy undertook little external borrowing. We find that the moral hazard associated with war debt seems to have had little effect on the amount of external borrowing that the Confederacy undertook. Rather, because the Confederacy began the war with large mobilizable resources relative to its expected postwar resource endowment, it required little external borrowing to accomplish the optimal amount of consumption smoothing. But, our results also suggest that unimportance of the moral hazard associated with war debt is not a generic property of war finance.

JEL Classification: F34, H63, D80

Suggested Citation

Grossman (deceased), Herschel I. and Han, Taejoon, War Debt, Moral Hazard, and the Financing of the Confederacy. JOURNAL OF MONEY, CREDIT, AND BANKING, Vol. 28, No. 2, May 1996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3312

Taejoon Han

The Sejong Institute ( email )

Korea

Brown University - Department of Economics

64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
United States

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