The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Bimetallism

  • Lawrence H. Officer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_191

Abstract

A bimetallic monetary standard is a combination of two metallic standards, each of which could in principle stand alone. Bimetallism has advantages over monometallism; but can be an unstable system, with legal bimetallism becoming de facto monometallism. The Persian and Roman Empires practised bimetallism. England’s de facto bimetallism was short-lived, and US bimetallism difficult to maintain. French bimetallism in 1815–73 stabilized the gold–silver market price ratio and also exchange rates among gold, silver, and bimetallic countries. Bimetallism ended in the 1870s.

Keywords

Bimetallic arbitrage Bimetallism Deflation Gold standard Gresham’s law Inflation Latin Monetary Union Market ratio Mint ratio Monetary base Money supply Monometallism Seigniorage Silver standard Specie-flow mechanism 

JEL Classifications

N2 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence H. Officer
    • 1
  1. 1.