Following the Yellow Brick Road: How the United States Adopted the Gold Standard

@article{Velde2002FollowingTY,
  title={Following the Yellow Brick Road: How the United States Adopted the Gold Standard},
  author={François R. Velde},
  journal={Monetary Economics},
  year={2002}
}
  • F. Velde
  • Published 22 June 2002
  • Economics, History
  • Monetary Economics
The United States, with some difficulty, adopted the gold standard in the late nineteenth century, thus pegging the dollar to the pound sterling and other currencies. Some have argued it was mistake, others that it was inevitable. This article recounts the historical background and uses a model to shed light on the choices faced by policymakers of the time. 
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The U.S. Coinage Act of 1873 eliminated provision for the free coinage of silver. That act cast the die for a gold standard. The conventional view is that "the act of 1873 was a piece of good
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Notes: Gold-silver market ratio is the December average for each year. Estimated worldwide nonmonetary stocks are in logs. The regression line is computed using 1873-92 and 1904-13 only