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Working Paper

National Bank Notes and Silver Certificates

From 1883 to 1892, the circulation of national bank notes in the United States fell nearly 50 percent. Previous studies have attributed this to supply-side factors that led to a decline in the profitability of note issue during this period. This paper provides an alternative explanation. The decline in note issue was, in large part, demand-driven. The presence of a competing currency with superior features caused the public to substitute away from national bank notes.

Suggested Citation

Champ, Bruce, and James B. Thomson. 2006. “National Bank Notes and Silver Certificates.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 06-22.