Economic Definition of Gresham's law. Defined.
Offline Version: PDF
Term Gresham's law Definition: A principle stating that bad money drives good money out of circulation. For this law to apply an economy clearly needs two types of money, one considered good and the other considered bad. Good and bad money in this context has nothing to do with the propensity to torture small animals or attempts at world domination. Good and bad are based on the official value in exchange versus value in use. Gold and silver, which were both used as money in the U.S. Economy in the 1800s, provides an illustration. Silver took on the role of "bad money" because it was relatively less value in use than gold. As such, people used silver as everyday money and stockpiled, or hoarded, gold. The silver bad money drove the gold good money out of circulation.