The Trend Towards the Debasement of American Currency

Steven Davis

Advisor: Richard E. Wagner

Committee Members: Robin D. Hanson, John H. Crockett, School of Management

Enterprise Hall, 318
October 27, 2010, 06:30 AM to 08:30 AM


This dissertation examines the 98.3% debasement of American currency from 1792 until the present time.  The thesis is that the trend towards debasement occurred subtly due to ten discrete events, none of which were primarily intended to induce currency debasement, and many of which occurred more than one hundred years before the actual debasement occurred.  This dissertation presents a monetary economic history of these years and presents arguments to how these ten events resulted in the massive debasement that we see today.