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Volatility in an era of reduced uncertainty: Lessons from Pax Britannica

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  • Brown, William Jr.
  • Burdekin, Richard C.K.
  • Weidenmier, Marc D.

Abstract

Although it has been well established that financial volatility is related to news and macroeconomic shocks, there has been less emphasis on the importance of underlying economic and political stability. In this paper we study the behavior of consol returns since 1729 and identify a greater-than-50% decline in volatility from the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 until the First World War. News events and macroeconomic variables cannot account for this extended period of reduced volatility. Underlying political stability under Pax Britannica seems to be a more likely explanation, however.
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  • Brown, William Jr. & Burdekin, Richard C.K. & Weidenmier, Marc D., 2006. "Volatility in an era of reduced uncertainty: Lessons from Pax Britannica," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 693-707, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:79:y:2006:i:3:p:693-707
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    Cited by:

    1. Fagiani, Riccardo & Hakvoort, Rudi, 2014. "The role of regulatory uncertainty in certificate markets: A case study of the Swedish/Norwegian market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 608-618.
    2. Roe, Mark J. & Siegel, Jordan I., 2011. "Political instability: Effects on financial development, roots in the severity of economic inequality," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 279-309, September.
    3. Campbell, Gareth & Quinn, William & Turner, John D. & Ye, Qing, 2015. "What moved share prices in the nineteenth-century London stock market?," QUCEH Working Paper Series 15-06, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    4. Berkman, Henk & Jacobsen, Ben & Lee, John B., 2011. "Time-varying rare disaster risk and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 313-332, August.
    5. Joseph Davis & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2016. "America's First Great Moderation," NBER Working Papers 21856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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