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La convergence est-elle nécessaire à la création d'une zone monétaire ? Réflexions sur l'étalon or 1880-1914

  • Jacques Le Cacheux
  • Marc Flandreau

[eng] The Maastricht Treaty has emphasised that « convergence » criteria were holy principles for a successful completion of monetary unification. From this respect, the experience of the «classical» gold standard of the late nineteenth century might have interesting lessons for us, because convergence under the gold standard took place out of any formal framework, and yet it was a success. This paper is a first interim report in a research program aimed at building a number of long term series for public debts, public finance, inflation rates, interest rates, and exchange rates for a large sample of European countries (France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Great-Britain, Greece, Holland, the Austrian Empire, Russia, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Denmark) and over the period 1 880-1 91 3, in order to assess the causes of the stability of the gold standard. While the broader project is far from being completed, we seek here to provide a number of provisory conclusions and research hypotheses that could be very relevant for contemporary debates. [fre] Le traité de Maastricht a mis l'accent sur la convergence de critères d'endettement public, de déficit, d'inflation et de taux d'intérêt longs. Ces critères sont habituellement justifiés comme constituant la garantie de la formation d'une zone monétaire stable. De ce point de vue, l'expérience de l'étalon or en Europe, à la fin du XIXe siècle, présente un précédent tout à fait intéressant, puisque cette zone or se passa de tout cadre formel multilatéral. Et pourtant, en termes de stabilité monétaire l'expérience fut un succès. Cet article est un premier « état des lieux » dans une recherche visant à reconstituer des séries cohérentes de dettes publiques, de budgets, de taux longs, de taux d'inflation et de taux de change pour un échantillon important de pays européens (Allemagne, Autriche-Hongrie, Belgique, Danemark, Espagne, France, Grande-Bretagne, Grèce, Hollande, Italie, Norvège, Portugal, Russie, Suède, Suisse) pour la période « classique » de l'étalon or. On cherche surtout ici à formuler un certain nombre de constats et d'hypothèses permettant d'appréhender une réalité diffuse et complexe. Les éléments avancés doivent donc être traités comme des conclusions provisoires susceptibles d'être affinées, testées, démontrées ou rejetées dans des étapes ultérieures.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): 58 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 5-41

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rvofce:ofce_0751-6614_1996_num_58_1_1428
Note: DOI:10.3406/ofce.1996.1428
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/ofce

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  1. Neal, Larry, 1985. "Integration of International Capital Markets: Quantitative Evidence from the Eighteenth to Twentieth Centuries," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(02), pages 219-226, June.
  2. Tamim Bayoumi, 1990. "Saving-Investment Correlations: Immobile Capital, Government Policy, or Endogenous Behavior?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 360-387, June.
  3. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  4. Ritschl, Albrecht, 1996. "Sustainability of High Public Debt: What the Historical Record Shows," CEPR Discussion Papers 1357, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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