The Bocade, currency of the argentinean province of Tucuman (1985-2003) : a case of monetary federalism
Théret, Bruno (2012), The Bocade, currency of the argentinean province of Tucuman (1985-2003) : a case of monetary federalism, Joint Conference of AHE, IIPPE and AFEP : Political economy and the outlook for capitalism, 2012-07, Paris, France
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference titleJoint Conference of AHE, IIPPE and AFEP : Political economy and the outlook for capitalism
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Abstract (EN)First we shall emphasize the importance of provincial fiscal monies (bonos) issuing in the history of Argentina, and especially in the 1980’s in the North Western Provinces with the coming back to democracy, and again in the 1990’s with the currency board’s regime and its crisis at the end of 2001. Then we will show that this importance is correlated with the very specific federalist structure of the argentinean political system. As the apparition of such monies is generally associated with periods of strong social stress and political crises, they generally are considered as emergency monies only. The case of the Province of Tucuman who issued this type of money for 18 years (1985-2003), is interesting because it appears as a permanent emergency currency, that is a structural complementary currency to the national currency. The Bocade has been very resilient since the 1985-2003 period was very unstable at the national level from a monetary viewpoint (there is first a new national money in 1985, the Austral, ending into a hyperinflation, followed by a new money in 1991 - the Peso - under a regime of currency board (strict convertibility at par with the US Dollar) that, in turn, ended by a deep depression and a monetary fragmentation, and finally a large devaluation through "pesification" at the beginning of 2002. The tucuman’s Bocade muddled through all these contrasted periods with an apparent "success". In other words it was more stable than the national currency. The paper investigates the functioning of this provincial monetary regime, and both its complementarity and relative autonomy vis-à-vis the national monetary regime according to different periods. How were produced the confidence, credibility and trust in the local money ? Was it an efficient economic device ? What were the social, territorial and political conflicts the local monetary regime was able to regulate ? Isn’t it a typical case of what can be called monetary federalism ?
Subjects / KeywordsFédéralisme; Unions monétaires; Monnaie
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