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Interest Reductions in the Politico-Financial Nexus of Eighteenth-Century England


  • Chamley, Christophe


In the 1730s and 1750s the English government proposed to refinance the redeemable debt by “lowering the interest rate.” In the ensuing coordination game among creditors, large investors like the Bank of England could block the policy change by demanding cash. Using 4 percent and 3 percent annuities prices to analyze market expectations, this article studies two refinancing episodes with very different fates. Lord Barnard failed in 1737 because his terms were too strict and financial agents induced a temporary market crash. Lord Pelham succeeded in 1750 because his better terms fit market prices, and interest rates had fallen much faster than expected.

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  • Chamley, Christophe, 2011. "Interest Reductions in the Politico-Financial Nexus of Eighteenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(03), pages 555-589, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:71:y:2011:i:03:p:555-589_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Broadberry & Bishnupriya Gupta, 2009. "Lancashire, India, and shifting competitive advantage in cotton textiles, 1700-1850: the neglected role of factor prices -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(2), pages 279-305, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. P. Antipa & C. Chamley, 2017. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy in England during the French Wars (1793-1821)," Working papers 627, Banque de France.
    2. Carlos álvarez-Nogal & Christophe Chamley, 2015. "Equity short-term finance under Philip II, with an option to long-term funded debt," Working Papers 0079, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    3. P.Antipa, 2014. "How Fiscal Policy Affects the Price Level: Britain’s First Experience with Paper Money," Working papers 525, Banque de France.
    4. Antipa, P., 2013. "Fiscal Sustainability and the Value of Money: Lessons from the British Paper Pound, 1797-1821," Working papers 466, Banque de France.

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