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Exchange-Rate Regimes and International Trade: Evidence from the Classical Gold Standard Era

  • Lopez-Cordova, J. Ernesto
  • Meissner, Chris

In this paper we show that the spread of the classical gold standard in the late nineteenth century increased international trade flows. This positive effect was compounded whenever a group of countries formed a monetary union. Applying the gravity model of trade to more than 1,100 country pairs during the 1870-1910 period, we find that two countries on gold would trade 60 percent more with each other than with countries on a different monetary standard. Moreover, a monetary union would more than double bilateral trade flows. Our findings are relevant for current discussions on alternative monetary arrangements for the twenty-first century.

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Paper provided by Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series with number qt1b04r034.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ciders:qt1b04r034
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  1. Maurice Obstfeld, 1997. "Europe's gamble," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 241-317.
  2. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
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  4. Christopher M. Meissner, 2003. "Exchange-Rate Regimes and International Trade: Evidence from the Classical Gold Standard Era," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 344-353, March.
  5. Simon J. Evenett & Wolfgang Keller, 1996. "On Theories Explaining the Success of the Gravity Equation," International Trade 9608001, EconWPA, revised 13 Jun 1997.
  6. Christopher M. Meissner, 2002. "A New World Order: Explaining the Emergence of the Classical Gold Standard," NBER Working Papers 9233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Charles Wyplosz, 1997. "EMU: Why and How It Might Happen," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 3-21, Fall.
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  12. Venables, Anthony J. & Limao, Nuno, 2002. "Geographical disadvantage: a Heckscher-Ohlin-von Thunen model of international specialisation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 239-263, December.
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  14. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592.
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  18. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1999. "Is Globalization Today Really Different than Globalization a Hunderd Years Ago?," NBER Working Papers 7195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/607 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Marc Flandreau & Mathilde Maurel, 2005. "Monetary Union, Trade Integration, and Business Cycles in 19th Century Europe," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 135-152, April.
  21. Eric van Wincoop & Philippe Bacchetta, 2000. "Does Exchange-Rate Stability Increase Trade and Welfare?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1093-1109, December.
  22. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: how large is the treatment effect?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 433-462, October.
  23. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1998. "Regionalization of World Trade and Currencies: Economics and Politics," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 189-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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