IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/ucbewp/233394.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Bretton Woods System: Paradise Lost?

Author

Listed:
  • Eichengreen, Barry

Abstract

The Bretton Woods System frequently appears in the scholarly literature as a model for international monetary reform. This paper briefly considers its operation. It argues that the system's principal achievement, the maintenance of stable exchange rates, was product not of the agreement finalized at the Bretton Woods Conference alone but of two exceptional features of the postwar world. One was the limited international mobility of capital. Capital controls provided policymakers room for maneuver; they softened the tradeoff between domestic objectives and defense of the exchange-rate peg. The other was singular scope for growth resulting from postwar reconstruction and catch-up. In these circumstances, countries felt little need to engage in discretionary monetary and fiscal policies that might have undermined the currency peg.

Suggested Citation

  • Eichengreen, Barry, 1994. "The Bretton Woods System: Paradise Lost?," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233394, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ucbewp:233394
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.233394
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/233394/files/cal-cider-c094-043.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.22004/ag.econ.233394?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tamim Bayoumi and Barry Eichengreen., 1994. "The Stability of the Gold Standard and the Evolution of the International Monetary System," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C94-040, University of California at Berkeley.
    2. Eichengreen, Barry & Tobin, James & Wyplosz, Charles, 1995. "Two Cases for Sand in the Wheels of International Finance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 162-172, January.
    3. Frankel, Jeff & Phillips, Steve & Chinn, Menzie, 1992. "Financial and Currency Integration in the European Monetary System: The Statistical Record," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233177, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    4. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1994. "Macroeconomic Adjustment under Bretton Woods and the Post-Bretton-Woods Float: An Impulse-Response Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 813-827, July.
    5. Tamim Bayoumi and Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "One Money or Many? On Analyzing the Prospects for Monetary Unification in Various Parts of the World," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-030, University of California at Berkeley.
    6. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Menzie Chinn & Jeffrey Frankel, 1991. "Patterns in Exchange Rate Forecasts for 25 Currencies," NBER Working Papers 3807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
    9. Dooley, Michael P & Isard, Peter, 1980. "Capital Controls, Political Risk, and Deviations from Interest-Rate Parity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 370-384, April.
    10. James Tobin, 1978. "A Proposal for International Monetary Reform," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 4(3-4), pages 153-159, Jul/Oct.
    11. Robert P. Flood & Peter M. Garber, 1987. "Gold Monetization and Gold Discipline," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Robert Z. Aliber (ed.), The Reconstruction of International Monetary Arrangements, chapter 10, pages 183-211, Palgrave Macmillan.
    12. Eichengreen, Barry & Simmons, Beth, 1993. "International Economics and Domestic Politics: Notes on the 1920s," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233212, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    13. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 1994. "The Internalization of Equity Markets: Introduction," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233216, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    14. Alogoskoufis, George S & Smith, Ron, 1991. "The Phillips Curve, the Persistence of Inflation, and the Lucas Critique: Evidence from Exchange-Rate Regimes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1254-1275, December.
    15. Robert Aliber, 1978. "The integration of National financial markets: A review of theory and findings," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 114(3), pages 448-480, September.
    16. Jeffrey A. Frankel., 1994. "The Internationalization of Equity Markets: Introduction," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C94-033, University of California at Berkeley.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Tobin, James & Wyplosz, Charles, 1995. "Two Cases for Sand in the Wheels of International Finance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 162-172, January.
    2. Barry Eichengreen., 1994. "History and Reform of the International Monetary System," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C94-041, University of California at Berkeley.
    3. Eichengreen, Barry & Wyplosz, Charles, 1995. "What Do Currency Crises Tell Us About the Future of the International Monetary System?," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233418, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    4. Barry Eichengreen., 1994. "Deja Vu All Over Again: Lessons from the Gold Standard for European Monetary Unification," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C94-032, University of California at Berkeley.
    5. Patrick Artus & Claude Jessua, 1996. "La spéculation," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 47(3), pages 409-424.
    6. Pompeo Della Posta, 2002. "Modelli di crisi valutarie e misure di politica economica," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 55(219), pages 237-262.
    7. Barry Eichengreen & Andrew K. Rose & Charles Wyplosz, 1996. "Is There a Safe Passage to EMU? Evidence on Capital Controls and a Proposal," NBER Chapters, in: The Microstructure of Foreign Exchange Markets, pages 303-332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Are currency crises self-fulfilling?: A test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 263-286, November.
    9. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1994. "A Survey of Empirical Research on Nominal Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 4865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bordo, Michael D. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1999. "Monetary policy regimes and economic performance: The historical record," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 149-234, Elsevier.
    11. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Norbert Funke., 1994. "A Two-Country Analysis of International Targeting of Nominal GNP," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C94-035, University of California at Berkeley.
    12. Ramkishen Rajan, 2010. "Sand in the Wheels of International Finance: Revisiting the Debate in Light of the East Asian Mayhem," Working Papers id:2686, eSocialSciences.
    13. Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1996. "Recent Exchange-Rate Experience and Proposals for Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 153-158, May.
    14. Eichengreen, Barry & Flandreau, Marc, 1994. "The Geography of the Gold Standard," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233393, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    15. Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "International Monetary Arrangements for the 21st Century," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-021, University of California at Berkeley.
    16. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 2000. "Optimal currency crises," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 177-230, December.
    17. Morris, S. & Shin, H.S., 1998. "A Theory of the Onset of Currency Attacks," Economics Papers 149, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    18. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Intertemporal price speculation and the optimal current-account deficit: reply and clarification," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 141-147, February.
    19. Flood, Robert P. & Marion, Nancy P., 2000. "Self-fulfilling risk predictions:: an application to speculative attacks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 245-268, February.
    20. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Intenational Currency Experience: New Lessons and Lessons Relearned," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 119-220.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • N0 - Economic History - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:ags:ucbewp:233394. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/debrkus.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: AgEcon Search (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/debrkus.html .

    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.