IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Following the yellow brick road: how the United States adopted the gold standard


  • Francois R. Velde


The United States, with some difficulty, adopted the gold standard in the late nineteenth century, thus pegging the dollar to the pound sterling and other currencies. Some have argued it was mistake, others that it was inevitable. This article recounts the historical background and uses a model to shed light on the choices faced by policymakers of the time.

Suggested Citation

  • Francois R. Velde, 2002. "Following the yellow brick road: how the United States adopted the gold standard," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 42-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:2002:i:qii:p:42-58:n:v.26no.2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Friedman, Milton, 1990. "The Crime of 1873," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1159-1194, December.
    2. Victoria Miller, 1993. "Exchange rate crises with domestic bank runs: Evidence from the 1890S," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9315, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    3. Drake, Louis S., 1985. "Reconstruction of a bimetallic price level," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 194-219, April.
    4. Grilli, Vittorio, 1990. "Managing exchange rate crises: evidence from the 1890s," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 258-275, September.
    5. Flandreau, Marc, 1995. "An Essay on the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1870-80," CEPR Discussion Papers 1210, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Bimetallism ; Gold ; Money;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:2002:i:qii:p:42-58:n:v.26no.2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bernie Flores). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.