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International Economic Review

Renovatio Monetae: When Gesell Taxes Worked

Scientific Article in English
Svensson, Roger and Andreas Westermark (2020). “Renovatio Monetae: When Gesell Taxes Worked”. International Economic Review 61(2), 821–846.

Roger Svensson, Andreas Westermark

Gesell taxes on money have recently received attention as a way of alleviating the zero lower bound on interest rates. Less known is that such taxes generated seigniorage in medieval Europe for around two centuries. When a Gesell tax was levied, current coins ceased to be legal and had to be exchanged into new coins for a fee. Using a cash‐in‐advance model, we analyze under what conditions agents exchange coins and the tax generates revenues. A low exchange fee, high punishments for using old coins, and a long time period between re‐mintings induce people to use new coins.

Roger Svensson

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