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Exchange Rate Regimes and Reserve Policy on the Periphery: The Italian Lira 1883-1911

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Abstract

The three exchange rate regimes adopted by Italy from 1883 up to the eve of World War I — the gold standard (1883-1893), floating rates (1894-1902), and “gold shadowing” (1903-1911) — produced a puzzling result: formal adherence to the gold standard ended in failure while shadowing the gold standard proved very successful. This paper discusses the main policies underlying Italy’s performance particularly focusing on the strategy of reserve accumulation. It presents a cointegration analysis identifying a distinct co-movement between exchange rate, reserves, and banknotes that holds over the three sub-periods of the sample. Given this long-run relationship, the different performance in each regime is explained by the diversity of policy measures, reflected in the different variables adjusting the system in the various regimes. Italy’s variegated experience during the gold standard provides a valuable lesson about current developments in the international scenario, showing the central role of fundamenals and consistent policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2009_11.rdf.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2009_11.rdf

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Keywords: Exchange rate; gold standard; reserve policy; cointegration;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Virginia Di Nino & Barry Eichengreen & Massimo Sbracia, 2011. "Real Exchange Rates, Trade, and Growth: Italy 1861-2011," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 10, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  2. Matteo Gomellini & Cormac O' Grada, 2011. "Outward and Inward Migrations in Italy: A Historical Perspective," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 08, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Filippo Cesarano & Giulio Cifarelli & Gianni Toniolo, 2012. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Reserve Policy: The Italian Lira, 1883–1911," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 253-275, April.

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