Reconstruction of money supply over the long run: the case of England, 1270–1870

Nuno Palma
Published Online:
02 Aug 2017
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 71 Issue 2

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This article provides a time series of coin and money supply estimates for six hundred years of English history. Two main estimation methods are proposed. The first (the direct method) is used to measure the value of government‐provided, legal‐tender coin supply only. Two varieties of the direct method are proposed. Additionally, an indirect method is proposed which relies on a combination of information about nominal GDP with an assumption regarding the evolution of velocity in time, and which can be used to calculate coin supply and M2. Both methods rely on benchmark values known for certain years, but no particular benchmark is determinant for the results. The new methodologies set out here may serve as a blueprint for a similar reconstruction of coin and money supply series for other economies for which analogous data are available.

© Economic History Society 2017

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