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Stuck on gold: Real exchange rate volatility and the rise and fall of the gold standard, 1875-1939

  • Chernyshoff, Natalia
  • Jacks, David S.
  • Taylor, Alan M.

Did the gold standard diminish macroeconomic volatility? Supporters thought so, critics thought not, and theory offers ambiguous messages. Hard regimes like the gold standard limit monetary shocks by tying policymakers' hands; but exchange-rate inflexibility compromises shock absorption in a world of real disturbances and nominal stickiness. A model shows how lack of flexibility affects the transmission of terms-of-trade shocks. Evidence from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century exposes a dramatic change. The classical gold standard did absorb shocks, but the interwar gold standard did not, supporting the view that the interwar gold standard was a poor regime choice.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 77 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 195-205

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:77:y:2009:i:2:p:195-205
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