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The Other Way: A Narrative History of the Bank of France

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  • Bignon, Vincent
  • Flandreau, Marc

Abstract

This paper offers a comprehensive (short) history of central banking in France, starting in the 18th century and finishing with the creation of the Euro in 2001. We first discuss how the French experience with central banking in the 18th century shaped the drafting of the charter and the governance of the Bank of France in 1800. We then single out how the Bank implements its monetary policy in the 19th century and assess the bank achievement in terms of monetary and financial stability. Finally we discuss how the sovereign debt overhang triggered by World War I and the reconstruction subverted the model of central banking previously implemented, and how the reluctance of the Bank to be implicated in the management of the sovereign yield ultimately leads to the loss of its independence vis-a-vis the state. Against this background the use of financial repression under the guidance of the state allowed a smoother management of the debt overhang during the post WW II period, but created its own issues that were addressed effectively only with the creation of the Euro.

Suggested Citation

  • Bignon, Vincent & Flandreau, Marc, 2018. "The Other Way: A Narrative History of the Bank of France," CEPR Discussion Papers 13138, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13138
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Replying to Simon Wren Lewis
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    2. Louis Rouanet, 2021. "The interest group origins of the Bank of France," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(1), pages 119-140, January.
    3. Stefano Ugolini, 2018. "The Historical Evolution of Central Banking," Post-Print hal-01887004, HAL.
    4. Carsten Hefeker, 2021. "Stable money and central bank independence: implementing monetary institutions in postwar Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 287-308, March.
    5. Avaro, Maylis & Bignon, Vincent, 2019. "At Your Service! Liquidity Provision and Risk Management in 19th Century France," CEPR Discussion Papers 13556, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-

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