1 Estudos Econômicos (São Paulo) 2005 Vol: 35(1):. DOI: 10.1590/S0101-41612005000100006

Uma análise crítica da literatura sobre a oferta e a circulação de moeda metálica no Brasil nos séculos XVI e XVII

This paper examines the main factors that determined the supply and circulation of metallic coins in Brazil in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The objective is to contribute to the debate, often neglected, on the scarcity of money in colonial Brazil. The paper is divided into six parts, on top of the introduction and the concluding remarks. The first presents the main features of the then prevalent Portuguese monetary system, as well as its policy of debasement. The next four parts deal with the supply of metallic currency in Brazil analysing respectively the early stages of the process of monetization, the inflows and outflows of precious metals, the impacts of the policy of coinage adopted by the Portuguese Crown, and some episodes of marking and minting of coins in Brazil. This is followed by an analysis of hoarding. It concludes with a summary of the main arguments developed along the paper.