Monetary Regime Transformation: The scramble to gold in the late nineteenth century
The late nineteenth century saw a movement among nation states which led to the widespread adoption of an international gold standard. So far, research has failed to demonstrate any specific qualities of gold that would explain its selection in preference to systems based upon silver or bimetallism. Neither has it proved possible to account for this choice in terms of any specific events in the historical record. The movement appears to have occurred almost without volition. In this paper it is suggested that the adoption of a 'socio-economic regime' such as the gold standard might be explainable by an approach similar to that put forward to explain 'technological' lock-in, where dominance can arise as a result of the culmination of a series of individual, small and perhaps unidentifiable accidents of history.
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Volume (Year): 11 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Cowan, Robin, 1991. "Tortoises and Hares: Choice among Technologies of Unknown Merit," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 801-814, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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