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The gold standard as a rule

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  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Finn E. Kydland

Abstract

In this paper, we show that the monetary rule followed by a number of key countries before 1914 represented a commitment technology preventing the monetary authorities from changing planned future policy. The experiences of these major countries suggest that the gold standard was intended as a contingent rule. By that, we mean that the authorities could temporarily abandon the fixed price of gold during a wartime emergency on the understanding that convertibility at the original price of gold would be restored when the emergency passed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 9205.

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Date of creation: 1992
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:9205

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Keywords: Gold standard ; Economic history ; Monetary policy;

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References

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  4. Finn Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1980. "A Competitive Theory of Fluctuations and the Feasibility and Desirability of Stabilization Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Rational Expectations and Economic Policy, pages 169-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. 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.
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  25. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  26. Bordo, Michael D., 1986. "Money, deflation and seigniorage in the fifteenth century: A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 337-346, November.
  27. Giovannini, Alberto, 1986. "`Rules of the game' during the International Gold Standard: England and Germany," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 467-483, December.
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  32. Cukierman, Alex, 1988. "Rapid inflation -- deliberate policy or miscalculation?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 11-75.
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  37. Garber, Peter M, 1986. "Nominal Contracts in a Bimetallic Standard," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1012-30, December.
  38. Prescott, Edward C., 1977. "Should control theory be used for economic stabilization?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 13-38, January.
  39. Barry Eichengreen, 1987. "Hegemonic Stability Theories of the International Monetary System," NBER Working Papers 2193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  41. Officer, Lawrence H., 1983. "Dollar-Sterling Mint Parity and Exchange Rates, 1791–1834," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(03), pages 579-616, September.
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