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Making the French pay: The costs and consequences of the Napoleonic reparations

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  • WHITE, EUGENE N.

Abstract

Reparations as an instrument of international peace settlements were abandoned after the failure of Germany to pay its post-World War I indemnity. However, reparations played a useful role in the construction of earlier peace treaties. This article examines the payment of reparations by the French after the Napoleonic Wars. By most measures, these reparations were the largest ever fully paid; and they imposed a high cost on the economy in terms of lost output, consumption, and diminished capital stock. The incentives to pay were appropriately set and payment permitted France to be accepted once again as an equal among the great powers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal European Review of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 5 (2001)
Issue (Month): 03 (December)
Pages: 337-365

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:5:y:2001:i:03:p:337-365_00

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Cited by:
  1. Michael B. Devereux & Gregor W. Smith, 2005. "Transfer Problem Dynamics: Macroeconomics of the Franco-Prussian War Indemnity," Working Papers 1025, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Albrecht Ritschl & Tobias Straumann, 2009. "Business cycles and economic policy, 1914-1945: a survey," Economic History Working Papers 22402, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  3. Angelo Riva & Eugene N. White, 2010. "Danger on the Exchange: How Counterparty Risk Was Managed on the Paris Bourse in the Nineteenth Century," NBER Working Papers 15634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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