When did the dollar overtake sterling as the leading international currency? Evidence from the bond markets
AbstractThis paper offers new evidence on the emergence of the dollar as the leading international currency, focusing on its role as currency of denomination in global bond markets. We show that the dollar overtook sterling much earlier than commonly supposed, as early as in 1929. Financial market development appears to have been the main factor helping the dollar to surmount sterling’s head start. The finding that a shift from a unipolar to a multipolar international monetary and financial system has happened before suggests that it can happen again. That the shift occurred earlier than commonly believed suggests that the advantages of incumbency are not all they are cracked up to be. And that financial deepening was a key determinant of the dollar’s emergence points to the challenges facing currencies aspiring to international status. JEL Classification: F30, N20
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1433.
Date of creation: May 2012
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Other versions of this item:
- Livia Chitu & Barry Eichengreen & Arnaud J. Mehl, 2012. "When did the dollar overtake sterling as the leading international currency? Evidence from the bond markets," NBER Working Papers 18097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
- N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2012-07-08 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-IFN-2012-07-08 (International Finance)
- NEP-MON-2012-07-08 (Monetary Economics)
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