August 29, 2016

Macro Musings 21: Hugh Rockoff on Optimal Currency Areas, “Yellowbacks,” and Free Banking

Hosted by David Beckworth of the Mercatus Center, Macro Musings is a new podcast which pulls back the curtain on the important macroeconomic issues of the past, present, and future.

Hugh Rockoff is a professor of economics at Rutgers University and has done extensive work in U.S. monetary history. He joins the show to discuss the criteria for an ideal monetary union and argues that the U.S. didn’t really become an optimal currency area until the 1930s. David and Hugh then discuss whether a present-day example, the Eurozone, fits these criteria. They also talk about interesting chapters in U.S. monetary history, including the Civil War, the Free Banking Era, and the bimetallism debate of the late 1800s.