IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/1210.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Essay on the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1870-80

Author

Listed:
  • Flandreau, Marc

Abstract

This paper is an exploration of the theory of endogenous regime changes which takes as an illustration the making of the classical gold standard. The international gold-based fixed exchange rate regime that surfaced during the 1870s has traditionally been interpreted as resulting from a mix of structural factors (Kindleberger (1993)), free-rider problems (Kenwood and Lougheed (1972)), transaction costs considerations (Redish (1992)), or political economy forces (Gallarotti (1990)). This paper - initially written to disentangle these various theories - argues that none of the traditionally accepted views proves sufficiently robust to closer scrutiny. We build a model of the pre-1870 international monetary system which allows us to formally test and reject the `free-rider' and `structural' views. We rely on historical and microeconomic evidence to criticize the `transaction costs' and `political economy' theories. Finally, we provide an alternative explanation of the emergence of the gold standard. Our conclusion is twofold. First, we argue that the making of the gold standard was very much the result of path-dependency and coordination problems. Second, we claim that the very process through which the gold standard was adopted played a major role in shaping its operation.

Suggested Citation

  • Flandreau, Marc, 1995. "An Essay on the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1870-80," CEPR Discussion Papers 1210, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1210
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=1210
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Marc Flandreau & Kim Oosterlinck, 2011. "Was the Emergence of the International Gold Standard Expected? Melodramatic Evidence from Indian Government Securities," Working Papers 0005, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. António Portugal Duarte & João Sousa Andrade, 2012. "How the Gold Standard functioned in Portugal: an analysis of some macroeconomic aspects," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 617-629, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Meissner, Christopher M. & Oomes, Nienke, 2009. "Why do countries peg the way they peg? The determinants of anchor currency choice," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 522-547, April.
    5. Esteves, Rui Pedro & Reis, Jaime & Ferramosca, Fabiano, 2009. "Market Integration in the Golden Periphery. The Lisbon/London Exchange, 1854-1891," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 324-345, July.
    6. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher M. Meissner & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2006. "Currency Mismatches, Default Risk, and Exchange Rate Depreciation: Evidence from the End of Bimetallism," NBER Working Papers 12299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Larry Neal & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2001. "Crises in The Global Economy from Tulips to Today: Contagion and Consequences," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-32, Claremont Colleges.
    8. Devereux, Michael B. & Smith, Gregor W., 2007. "Transfer problem dynamics: Macroeconomics of the Franco-Prussian war indemnity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2375-2398, November.
    9. Francois R. Velde & Warren E. Weber, 2000. "A Model of Bimetallism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1210-1234, December.
    10. Francois R. Velde, 2002. "Following the yellow brick road: how the United States adopted the gold standard," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 42-58.
    11. Sophia Lazaretou, 2004. "The Drachma, Foreign Creditors and the International Monetary System: Tales of a Currency during the 19th and the Early 20th Century," Working Papers 16, Bank of Greece.
    12. Etienne B Yehoue, 2004. "Currency Bloc Formation as a Dynamic Process Based on Trade Network Externalities," IMF Working Papers 04/222, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central Banking; Coordination; Gold Standard; International Monetary System; Regime Change;

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

    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:cpr:ceprdp:1210. 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: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.