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Exchange rates and casualties during the first world war

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  • Hall, George J.

Abstract

I estimate a single factor model of Swiss exchange rates during World War I for five of the primary belligerents: Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. At the outbreak of the war these nations suspended convertibility of their currencies into gold with the promise that after the war each would restore convertibility at the old par. However, once convertibility was suspended, each currency became a state-contingent claim; after the war it would pay off at (or near) the old par if the country won or pay off significantly less than par (perhaps nothing) if the country lost. The single factor extracted from the five exchange rates appears to contain information on contemporaries' expectations about the war's outcome. Innovations to the single factor are correlated with time series on soldiers killed and wounded and soldiers taken prisoner.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 51 (2004)
Issue (Month): 8 (November)
Pages: 1711-1742

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:51:y:2004:i:8:p:1711-1742

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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  1. Lars Peter Hansen & Ellen R. McGrattan & Thomas J. Sargent, 1994. "Mechanics of forming and estimating dynamic linear economies," Staff Report 182, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  5. Bordo Michael D. & Kydland Finn E., 1995. "The Gold Standard As a Rule: An Essay in Exploration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 423-464, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Bryce Kanago & Ken McCormick, 2013. "The Dollar-Pound Exchange Rate During the First Nine Months of World War II," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(4), pages 385-404, December.
  2. Vincent Medina & Cyr-Denis Nidier, 2003. "Pricing war within a real option framework," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 425-435.

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