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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:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    currency risk; fixed exchange rates; gold standard; sovereign borrowing;

    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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