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Was the Classical Gold Standard Credible on the Periphery? Evidence from Currency Risk

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  • Mitchener, Kris James
  • Weidenmier, Marc

Abstract

We use a standard metric from international finance, the currency risk premium, to assess the credibility of fixed exchange rates during the classical gold standard era. Theory suggests that a completely credible and permanent commitment to join the gold standard would have zero currency risk or no expectation of devaluation. We find that, even five years after a typical emerging-market country joined the gold standard, the currency risk premium averaged at least 220 basis points. Fixed- effects, panel-regression estimates that control for a variety of borrower-specific factors also show large and positive currency risk premia. In contrast to core gold standard countries, such as France and Germany, the persistence of large premia, long after gold standard adoption, suggest that financial markets did not view the pegs in emerging markets as credible and expected devaluation.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitchener, Kris James & Weidenmier, Marc, 2015. "Was the Classical Gold Standard Credible on the Periphery? Evidence from Currency Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 10388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10388
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Damian Clarke & Manuel Llorca Ja~na & Daniel Paila~nir, 2021. "The Use of Quantile Methods in Economic History," Papers 2108.06055, arXiv.org.
    3. Colin Weiss, 2020. "Contractionary Devaluation Risk: Evidence from the Free Silver Movement, 1878-1900," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 705-720, October.
    4. Kramer, Bert S. & Milionis, Petros, 2022. "Democratic constraints and adherence to the classical gold standard," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    5. Monnet, Eric & Puy, Damien, 2020. "Do old habits die hard? Central banks and the Bretton Woods gold puzzle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    6. Bazot, Guillaume & Monnet, Eric & Morys, Matthias, 2019. "Taming the gobal financial cycle: Central banks and the sterilization of capital flows in the first era of globalization," IBF Paper Series 03-19, IBF – Institut für Bank- und Finanzgeschichte / Institute for Banking and Financial History, Frankfurt am Main.
    7. Lennard, Jason, 2018. "Did monetary policy matter? Narrative evidence from the classical gold standard," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 16-36.
    8. Bazot, Guillaume & Monnet, Eric & Morys, Matthias, 2019. "Taming the Global Financial Cycle: Central Banks and the Sterilization of Capital Flows in the First Era of Globalization (1891-1913)," CEPR Discussion Papers 13895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Sabaté, Marcela & Fillat, Carmen & Escario, Regina, 2019. "Budget deficits and money creation: Exploring their relation before Bretton Woods," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 38-56.
    10. Jevtic, Aleksandar R., 2020. "Gold rush: The political economy of gold standard adoption in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia," eabh Papers 20-02, The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    currency risk; fixed exchange rates; gold standard; sovereign borrowing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative

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