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The Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the Rise of the Dollar as an International Currency, 1914–1939

  • Barry Eichengreen
  • Marc Flandreau

    ()

This paper provides new evidence on the rise of the dollar as an international currency, focusing on its role in the conduct of trade and the provision of trade credit. We show that the shift to the dollar occurred much earlier than conventionally supposed: during and immediately after World War I. Not just market forces but also policy support – the Fed in its role as market maker – was important for the dollar’s overtaking of sterling as the leading international currency. On balance, this experience challenges the popular notion of international currency status as being determined mainly by market size. It suggests that the popular image of strongly increasing returns and pervasive network externalities leaving room for only one monetary technology is misleading.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11079-011-9217-1
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Open Economies Review.

Volume (Year): 23 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 57-87

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Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:23:y:2012:i:1:p:57-87
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100323

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  1. Flandreau, Marc & Jobst, Clemens, 2005. "The Ties that Divide. A Network Analysis of the International Monetary System," CEPR Discussion Papers 5129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Menzie D. Chinn & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2008. "The Euro May Over the Next 15 Years Surpass the Dollar as Leading International Currency," NBER Working Papers 13909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eichengreen, Barry & Flandreau, Marc, 2008. "The Rise and Fall of the Dollar, or When did the Dollar Replace Sterling as the Leading Reserve Currency?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6869, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Ignacio Briones & André Villela, 2006. "European Bank Penetration During The First Wave Of Globalization: Lessons From Brazil And Chile, 1878/1913," Anais do XXXIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 23, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  5. Stefano Battilossi, 2005. "The Determinants of Multinational Banking during the First Globalization, 1870-1914," Working Papers in Economic History wh056807, Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales.
  6. Gino Cattani & Adrian E. Tschoegl, 2002. "An Evolutionary View of Internationalization: Chase Manhattan Bank, 1917 to 1996," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-37, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Hausmann Ricardo & Panizza Ugo, 2011. "Redemption or Abstinence? Original Sin, Currency Mismatches and Counter Cyclical Policies in the New Millennium," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-35, August.
  8. Marc Flandreau & Clemens Jobst, 2009. "The Empirics of International Currencies: Network Externalities, History and Persistence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 643-664, 04.
  9. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1990. "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-25, April.
  10. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
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