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Pandemic recession and helicopter money: Venice, 1629-1631

Masciandaro, Donato, Goodhart, Charles and Ugolini, Stefano (2022) Pandemic recession and helicopter money: Venice, 1629-1631. Financial History Review, 28 (3). 300 - 318. ISSN 0968-5650

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0968565021000214


We analyse the money-financed fiscal stimulus implemented in Venice during the famine and plague of 1629-31, which was equivalent to a 'net-worth helicopter money' strategy - a monetary expansion generating losses to the issuer. We argue that the strategy aimed at reconciling the need to subsidize inhabitants suffering from containment policies with the desire to prevent an increase in long-term government debt, but it generated much monetary instability and had to be quickly reversed. This episode highlights the redistributive implications of the design of macroeconomic policies and the role of political economy factors in determining such designs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Financial Markets Group
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > DG Italy
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2022 17:57
Last Modified: 31 May 2024 04:06

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