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The Drachma, Foreign Creditors and the International Monetary System: Tales of a Currency during the 19th and the Early 20th Century

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  • Sophia Lazaretou

    ()
    (Bank of Greece, Economic Research Department)

Abstract

Fixed exchange rate regimes can be regarded as a “rule with escape clauses”, allowing the monetary authorities to temporarily suspend convertibility and enact a discretionary policy only under well-understood contingencies, such as wartime emergencies and financial panics. Seen from this perspective, adherence to the specie convertibility rule enables peripheral countries to establish credibility of the nation’s economic policy and, thus, to obtain access to the core countries’ capital markets. The evidence assembled in the paper, both historical and empirical, supports the conclusion that Greece seems to have tried very hard to adhere to “good housekeeping rules”.

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File URL: http://www.bankofgreece.gr/BogEkdoseis/Paper200416.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Greece in its series Working Papers with number 16.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Explorations in Economic History, 2005, 42 (2), pp. 202-236.
Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:16

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Web page: http://www.bankofgreece.gr
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Keywords: specie standards; foreign borrowing; peripheral country;

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References

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  1. Michael D. Bordo & Eugene N. White, 1991. "British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars," NBER Working Papers 3517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christopher M. Meissner, 2003. "Exchange-Rate Regimes and International Trade: Evidence from the Classical Gold Standard Era," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 344-353, March.
  3. Michael Bordo & Michael Edelstein, 1999. "Was Adherence to the Gold Standard a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" During the Interwar Period?," NBER Working Papers 7186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael D. Bordo & Carlos A. Vegh, 1998. "What If Alexander Hamilton Had Been Argentinean? A Comparison of the Early Monetary Experiences of Argentina and the United States," NBER Working Papers 6862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fratianni,Michele & Spinelli,Franco, 1997. "A Monetary History of Italy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521443159, April.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  7. Christopher M. Meissner, 2002. "A New World Order: Explaining the Emergence of the Classical Gold Standard," NBER Working Papers 9233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lazaretou Sophia, 1995. "Government Spending, Monetary Policies, and Exchange Rate Regime Switches: The Drachma in the Gold Standard Period," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 28-50, January.
  9. Flandreau, Marc & Le Cacheux, Jacques & Zumer, Frédéric, 1998. "Stability Without a Pact? Lessons from the European Gold Standard 1880-1914," CEPR Discussion Papers 1872, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. repec:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2008:i:02:p:442-467_00 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Hugh Rockoff & Michael D. Bordo, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval"," Departmental Working Papers 199528, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  14. Flandreau, Marc, 1995. "An Essay on the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1870-80," CEPR Discussion Papers 1210, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Michael A. Clemens & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2000. "Where did British Foreign Capital Go? Fundamentals, Failures and the Lucas Paradox: 1870-1913," NBER Working Papers 8028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Flandreau, Marc, 1996. "The French Crime of 1873: An Essay on the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1870–1880," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 862-897, December.
  17. Tattara, Giuseppe, 2000. "Was Italy ever on gold?," MPRA Paper 37160, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Alberto Giovannini, 1993. "Bretton Woods and Its Precursors: Rules versus Discretion in the History of International Monetary Regimes," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 109-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Sussman, Nathan & Yafeh, Yishay, 2000. "Institutions, Reforms, and Country Risk: Lessons from Japanese Government Debt in the Meiji Era," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(02), pages 442-467, June.
  20. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1996. "The Specie Standard As A Contingent Rule: Some Evidence for Core and Peripheral Countries, 1880-90," Departmental Working Papers 199411, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dovern, Jonas & Gern, Klaus-Jürgen & Jannsen, Nils & Van Roye, Björn & Scheide, Joachim & Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens & Meier, Carsten-Patrick, 2010. "Weltkonjunktur im Frühjahr 2010," Kiel Discussion Papers 476/477, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  2. Harris Dellas & Goerge Tavlas, 2012. "The road to Ithaca: the Gold Standard, the Euro and the origins of the Greek sovereign debt crisis," Working Papers 149, Bank of Greece.
  3. Dovern, Jonas & Gern, Klaus-Jürgen & Meier, Carsten-Patrick, 2010. "Schwache Konjunktur im Euroraum: Nur langsamer Abbau der Ungleichgewichte," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 45583, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  4. Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens, 2010. "Ist Griechenland noch zu retten? Und der Euro?," Kiel Policy Brief 19, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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