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The future of the International Financial System

In: Bretton Woods Revisited


  • Robert A. Mundell


The Bretton Woods twins were conceived during a world war that followed a world depression. They were created by men who hoped to make the world depression-proof. We have not had a great depression since the war but have suffered the opposite malaise of inflation. Nevertheless, the twenty-five years since the founding have been years of prosperity unparalleled in history. It would be hard to say how much credit is due the Fund and Bank for this prosperity, but that fact alone should make us cautious about unbridled criticism. We do not know what would have happened had the Bretton Woods Agreement not been ratified, but the fact that the Fund has presided over a remarkable era in economic history shifts the burden of evidence onto the Fund’s critics. I include myself in the latter group, but primarily because we want to see the present era of prosperity continue and I believe reform of the Fund can enhance the chances that it will.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert A. Mundell, 1972. "The future of the International Financial System," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: A. L. Keith Acheson & John F. Chant & Martin F. J. Prachowny (ed.), Bretton Woods Revisited, pages 91-103, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:palchp:978-1-349-01521-4_8
    DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-01521-4_8

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    Cited by:

    1. Howard R. Vane & Chris Mulhearn, 2006. "Interview with Robert A. Mundell," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 89-110, Fall.
    2. Filippo Cesarano, 2013. "The Optimum Currency Area Puzzle," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 19(3), pages 259-271, August.
    3. David Laidler, 2007. "Successes and Failures of Monetary Policy Since the 1950s," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20072, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
    4. Robert Alexander Mundell, 2000. "Le vingtième siècle," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 74(1), pages 7-31.
    5. David Laidler, 2016. "Economic Ideas, the Monetary Order and the Uneasy Case for Policy Rules," University of Western Ontario, Departmental Research Report Series 20164, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    6. Martínez-Ruiz, Elena & Nogues-Marco, Pilar, 2017. "The political economy of exchange rate stability during the gold standard. The case of Spain, 1874-1914," Working Papers unige:91510, University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History.
    7. Filippo Cesarano, 2011. "The Political and Economic Dimension of Monetary Unions," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 985-996, November.


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