Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Business and Economics

First Committee Member

Murray N. Rothbard

Number of Pages



This paper examines three episodes in economic history that are commonly referred to as "speculative bubbles." The three bubbles analyzed are: Tulipmania, the Mississippi Bubble and the South Sea Bubble. The paper views these three events in a historical context emphasizing the monetary interventions particular to each episode; The Rational Expectations and Keynesian school's treatments of speculative bubbles are considered and rejected. The life and monetary theories of John Law are examined extensively, given his influence over the Mississippi and South Sea bubbles. Law is also indirectly connected to the Tulipmania, having been influenced by the operation of the Bank of Amsterdam; The conclusion of the thesis is that speculative bubbles are engendered by increases in the supply of money, with future bubbles being inevitable given fractional reserve banking and Keynesian monetary policies. The reason for the malinvestments caused by monetary interventions is illuminated by the Austrian trade cycle theory.


Bubbles; Early; Holland; Increases; Mississippi; Mississippi Bubble; Money; Sea; South; South Sea Bubble; Speculative; Supply; Tulipmania

Controlled Subject

Economic history; Economics

File Format


File Size

5754.88 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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