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Exchange rates and casualties during the first world war

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  • Hall, George J.

Abstract

I estimate a single factor model of Swiss exchange rates during World War I for five of the primary belligerents: Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. At the outbreak of the war these nations suspended convertibility of their currencies into gold with the promise that after the war each would restore convertibility at the old par. However, once convertibility was suspended, each currency became a state-contingent claim; after the war it would pay off at (or near) the old par if the country won or pay off significantly less than par (perhaps nothing) if the country lost. The single factor extracted from the five exchange rates appears to contain information on contemporaries' expectations about the war's outcome. Innovations to the single factor are correlated with time series on soldiers killed and wounded and soldiers taken prisoner.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hall, George J., 2004. "Exchange rates and casualties during the first world war," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1711-1742, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:51:y:2004:i:8:p:1711-1742
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    Cited by:

    1. Tobias A. Jopp, 2014. "How did the capital market evaluate Germany’s prospects for winning World War I? Evidence from the Amsterdam market for government bonds," Working Papers 0052, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. Samuel MAVEYRAUD & François CHOUNET, 2015. "Correlation of exchange rates and gold standard regime during World War 1 (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2015-33, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    3. Bryce Kanago & Ken McCormick, 2013. "The Dollar-Pound Exchange Rate During the First Nine Months of World War II," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(4), pages 385-404, December.
    4. Avni Önder Hanedar & Hatice Gaye Gencer & Sercan Demiralay & Ismail Altay, 2017. "Between war and peace: The Ottoman economy and foreign exchange trading at the Istanbul bourse," Working Papers 0108, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    5. Vincent Medina & Cyr-Denis Nidier, 2003. "Pricing war within a real option framework," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 425-435.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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