Farley Grubb

Professor of Economics

Department: Economics
Campus Address: 405 Purnell Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-1905


Research Interests:

  • Early American Labor Contracting
  • Early American Immigration regarding: immigrant literacy, education, occupations, anthropometrics, family structure, geographic settlement patterns.
  • Market Structure, specifically Atlantic passenger shipping during the 17th-19th Centuries
  • U.S. Constitutional impact on economic issues during the 18th Century
  • American Monetary History, 1700-1815
  • North American Editor, Financial History Series, Routledge, Taylor Francis Group,


  • Ph.D., Economics, University of Chicago, 1984
  • M.A., Economics, University of Chicago,  1981
  • B.A., Economics, History, and Philosophy, University of Washington,  1977
  • Curriculum Vitae


  • “Is Paper Money Just Paper Money? Experimentation and Variation in the Paper Monies Issued by the American Colonies from 1690 to 1775.”Research in Economic History, 32 (2016), pp. 147-224.
  • “Colonial New Jersey’s Paper Money Regime, 1709-75: A Forensic Accounting Reconstruction of the Data,” Historical Methods, vol. 48, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 2015), pp. 13-34.
  • German Immigration and Servitude in America, 1709-1920. New York: Routledge, 2014, paperback edition.
  • “State Redemption of the Continental Dollar, 1779-90,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., vol. 69, no. 1 (Jan. 2012), pp. 147-180.
  • “The Distribution of Congressional Spending During the American Revolution, 1775-1780: The Problem of Geographic Balance, ” in Stephen Conway and Rafael Torres Sánchez, eds.,The Spending of the StatesMilitary Expenditure During the Long Eighteenth Century: Patterns, Organisations, and Consequences, 1650-1815, pp. 257-284. Saabrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller GmbH & Co. KG, 2011. [ISBN: 978-3-639-36623-5]
  • German Immigration and Servitude in America, 1709-1920. New York: Routledge, 2011.
  • “U.S. Land Policy: Founding Choices and Outcomes, 1781-1802,” in Founding Choices, ed. Douglas A. Irwin and Richard Sylla, pp. 259-289. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

  • “Testing for the Economic Impact of the U.S. Constitution: Purchasing Power Parity across the Colonies Versus across the States, 1748-1811,” Journal of Economic History, vol. 70, no. 1 (Mar. 2010), pp.118-145.

  • “Money Supply in the American Colonies,” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009),

  • “Convict Labour” and “Indentured Servitude,” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), vol. 2, pp. 226-227, and vol. 4, pp. 189-190
  • “The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Really Issued?” Journal of Economic History, vol. 68, No. 1 pp. 283-291, March, 2008.
  • “Growth of Literacy in Colonial America: Longitudinal Patterns, Economic Models, and the Direction of Future Research,” in Harvey J. Graff, ed., Literacy and Historical Development: A Reader (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2007), pp. 272-298 [reprinted from Social Science History, 14 (Winter 1990), pp. 451-482].
  • “The Spoils of War: U.S. Federal Government Finance in the Aftermath of the War for Independence, 1784-1802,” in Rafael Torres Sanchez, ed., War, State and Development. Fiscal-Military States in the Eighteenth Century(Pamplona, Spain: EUNSA, 2007), pp. 133-156.
  • “The Constitutional Creation of a Common Currency in the U.S., 1748-1811: Monetary Stabilization Versus Merchant Rent Seeking,” in Jurgen Nautz and Lars Jonung, eds., Conflict Potentials In Monetary Unions. Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag, 2007, pp. 19-50.
  • "The Net Worth of the U.S. Federal Government, 1784-1802," American Economic Review-Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 97, No. 2, pp. 280-284, May, 2007.
  • "Theory, Evidence, and Belief - The Colonial Money Puzzle Revisited: Reply to Michener and Wright," Econ Watch Journal, Vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 45-72, Jan. 2006.
  • "The U.S. Constitution and Monetary Powers: An Analysis of the 1787 Constitutional Convention and How a Constitutional Transformation of the the Nation's Monetary System Emerged," Financial History Review, Vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 43-71, April 2006.
  • "Benjamin Franklin and Colonial Money: A Reply to Michener and Wright - Yet Again," Econ Journal Watch, Vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 484-510, Sept. 2006.
  • Benjamin Franklin and the Birth of a Paper Money Economy, The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, 2006.
  • "Does Going Greek Impair Undergraduate Academic Performance? A Case Study," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 65, no. 5, pp. 1085-1110, Nov. 2006.
  • “Babes in Bondage? Debt Shifting by German Immigrants in Early America,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 1-34, Summer, 2006.
  • Souls for Sale: Two German Redemptioners Come to Revolutionary America: The Life Stories of John Frederick Whitehead and Johann Carl Büttner (with Susan E. Klepp and Anne Pfaelzer de Ortiz, eds.) University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006.
  • "Laborers, Contract," in John J. McCusker, ed., History of World Trade Since 1450, New York: Macmillan, 2006.
  • "State 'Currencies' and the Transition to the U.S. Dollar: Reply--Including a New View from Canada," American Economic Review. Vol. 95, no. 4 , pp. 1341-1348,  Sept. 2005.
  • "Nevins Panel Discussion, 11 September 2004," Journal of Economic History Vol. 65, No.2, pp. 543-547, June 2005.
  • “The Circulating Medium of Exchange in Colonial Pennsylvania, 1729-1775: New Estimates of Monetary Composition, Performance, and Economic Growth,” Explorations in Economic History,Vol.41, No.4, pp. 329-360, Oct., 2004.
  • "Creating the U.S.-Dollar Currency Union, 1748-1811: A Quest for Monetary Stability or a Usurpation of State Sovereignty for Personal Gain?,” American Economic Review," Vol. 93, No. 5, pp.1778-1798, Dec., 2003. 
  • “Convict Labor System,” in Stanley I. Kutler, ed., Dictionary of American History New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, Third Edition, 2003, Vol. 2, pp. 401-402.
  • “Contract Labor and the Indenture System,” in Joel Mokyr, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, Vols. 1-5 New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, Vol. 1, pp. 535-538.
  • “Social Science versus Social Rhetoric: Methodology and the Pacific Labor Trade to Queensland, Australia,”Historical Methods, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 5-36, Winter 2001.
  • “The Market Evaluation of Criminality: Evidence from the Auction of British Convict Labor in America, 1767-1775,”American Economic Review, Vol. 91, No. 1, pp. 295-304, Mar. 2001.
  • “The Trans-Atlantic Market for British Convict Labor,” Journal of Economy History, Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 94-122, Mar. 2000.
  • “The Statutory Regulation of Colonial Servitude: An Incomplete-Contract Approach,” Explorations in Economic History, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 42-75, Jan. 2000.

Awards & Honors

  • Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
  • Lerner Scholar Award, University of Delaware, 2006
  • Thomas S. Berry Memorial Lecturer, University of Richmond, American Economic History, 2000
  • Grants: American Philosophical Society 2003-2004 Sabbatical Fellowship,  Pew Teaching Fellow,  Economic History Association (Cole Grant), University of Delaware Financial Institutions Research Center Grant
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Business & Economics, University of Delaware, 1994
  • The field of economic history at the University of Delaware (basically me) is ranked 15th among all the PhD granting economics departments in the U.S. This ranking is just behind Columbia and Yale (13th and 14th) and just ahead of Northwestern and Michigan (16th and 17th) [Southern Economics Journal, vol. 74, no. 4 (April 2008), p. 992].
  • The Journal of Economic History, vol. 62, no. 2 (June 2002), p. 526, ranked economic history at the University of Delaware (basically me) 24th among all economic history programs housed in North American economics departments, and ranked me by name as the 15th most published author in the top journal in economic history—the Journal of Economic History.
  • IDEAS/RePEc lists me among the top 5% of authors in economics, see IDEAS/RePEc  then click on Grubb, Farley [Accessed 12/29/2011].


  • Economic History
  • Microeconomics
  • Monetary History

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.5 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Club, a student-managed restaurant and hotel, a high-technology development center of a global bank and a start-up experience for students with new business ideas.

Undergraduate scholarships, made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends, enable us to support promising scholars. Here, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and his mother, Leni Markell, join recipients of the William Markell Scholarship (center), which benefits students in Accounting and MIS.

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All Lerner College departments offer discovery learning experiences and emphasize data-based analytics to enrich the student experience. Here, students at Vita Nova, our award-winning restaurant run through HRIM, joined professional chefs and winemakers in hosting a 2014 Mid-Atlantic Wine and Food Festival event.

Lerner College faculty - like Meryl Gardner, whose research on foods and moods was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

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