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Threat of a capital levy, expected devaluation and interest rates in France during the interwar period


  • Hautcoeur, Pierre-Cyrille
  • Sicsic, Pierre


This paper tries to improve the understanding of the French interwar monetary situation by using thoroughly one indicator: long-term interest rates. As such, it could be attacked from a methodological point of view as relying excessively on that indicator and on a small number of hypothesis (although we have empirical arguments for each of these). We do consider that if each one of our hypothesis (and then our measures) may be discussed, the global picture we draw is the only one which puts all the available data in a consistent order. This picture is different from the prevailing one in some aspects concerning the Poincaré stabilization, and reinforces one of the interpretations of the 1930s.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hautcoeur, Pierre-Cyrille & Sicsic, Pierre, 1999. "Threat of a capital levy, expected devaluation and interest rates in France during the interwar period," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 25-56, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:3:y:1999:i:01:p:25-56_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cecchetti, Stephen G, 1988. "The Case of the Negative Nominal Interest Rates: New Estimates of the Term Structure of Interest Rates during the Great Depression," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1111-1141, December.
    2. Sicsic, Pierre, 1992. "Was the franc poincare deliberately undervalued?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 69-92, January.
    3. Baum, Christopher F & Thies, Clifford F, 1992. "On the Construction of Monthly Term Structures of U.S. Interest Rates, 1919-1930," Computer Science in Economics & Management, Kluwer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 5(3), pages 221-246, August.
    4. Prati, Alessandro, 1991. "Poincare's stabilization : Stopping a run on government debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 213-239, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni B. Pittaluga & Elena Seghezza, 2012. "The role of Rentiers in the stabilization processes of the 1920s," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 188-210, May.
    2. Seghezza, Elena & Morelli, Pierluigi, 2014. "Conflict inflation and delayed stabilization," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 171-184.
    3. Paul Hallwood & Ronald MacDonald & Ian Marsh, 2011. "Remilitarization and the End of the Gold Bloc in 1936," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 305-321, September.
    4. Raphaël Hekimian, 2017. "The French banking sector during the interwar: What lessons can be drawn from the stock market?," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-3, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    5. Michael D. Bordo & Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur, 2003. "Why didn't France follow the British Stabilization after World War One ?," DELTA Working Papers 2003-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    6. Ritschl, Albrecht & Straumann, Tobias, 2009. "Business cycles and economic policy, 1914-1945: a survey," Economic History Working Papers 22402, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    7. Ritschl, Albrecht, 2012. "The German Transfer Problem, 1920-1933: A Sovereign Debt Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 9062, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Farquet, Christophe, 2016. "Explaining the failure of international tax regulations throughout the 20th century," Working Papers unige:88348, University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History.
    9. Christoph Farquet, 2012. "The Rise Of The Swiss Tax Haven In The Interwar Period: An International Comparison," Working Papers 0027, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-


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