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Competing Bimetallic Ratios: Amsterdam, London and Bullion Arbitrage in the Mid-18th Century

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  • Nogues-Marco, Pilar

Abstract

This article analyzes the stability of bimetallism for countries operating in integrated bullion markets who enact different legal ratios. I articulate a new theoretical framework to demonstrate that two countries can both be bimetallic only if they coordinate their legal ratios. The theoretical framework is applied to the mid-18th century when London’s legal ratio was 3.8% higher than that of Amsterdam. I find that Amsterdam was effectively on the bimetallic standard, whereas London was on a de facto gold standard.

Suggested Citation

  • Nogues-Marco, Pilar, 2013. "Competing Bimetallic Ratios: Amsterdam, London and Bullion Arbitrage in the Mid-18th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 9300, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9300
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    3. Marc Flandreau & Christophe Galimard & Clemens Jobst & Pilar Nogués-Marco, 2009. "Monetary geography before the Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 2(2), pages 149-171.
    4. Stephen F. Quinn & William Roberds, 2006. "An economic explanation of the early Bank of Amsterdam, debasement, bills of exchange, and the emergence of the first central bank," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    5. Canjels, Eugene & Prakash-Canjels, Gauri & Taylor, Alan M., 2004. "Measuring Market Integration: Foreign Exchange Arbitrage and the Gold Standard 1874-1913," CEPR Discussion Papers 4492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Oppers, Stefan Erik, 1996. "Was the worldwide shift to gold inevitable? An analysis of the end of bimetallism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 143-162, February.
    7. Kindleberger, Charles P., 1993. "A Financial History of Western Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780195077384.
    8. Eugene Canjels & Gauri Prakash-Canjels & Alan M. Taylor, 2004. "Measuring Market Integration: Foreign Exchange Arbitrage and the Gold Standard, 1879-1913," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 868-882, November.
    9. Clark, Truman A, 1984. "Violations of the Gold Points, 1890-1908," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 791-823, October.
    10. Garber, Peter M, 1986. "Nominal Contracts in a Bimetallic Standard," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1012-1030, December.
    11. Marcuzzo, Maria Cristina & Rosselli, Annalisa, 1987. "Profitability in the International Gold Market in the Early History of the Gold Standard," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(215), pages 367-380, August.
    12. Chau-nan Chen, 1972. "Bimetallism: Theory and Controversy in Perspective," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 89-112, Spring.
    13. Oskar Morgenstern, 1959. "International Financial Transactions and Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number morg59-1, July.
    14. Nogues-Marco, Pilar, 2011. "The microeconomics of bullionism : arbitrage, smuggling and silver outflows in Spain in the early 18th century," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp11-05, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    15. Stephen Quinn, 1996. "Gold, silver, and the Glorious Revolution: arbitrage between bills of exchange and bullion," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 49(3), pages 473-490, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Quinn & William Roberds, 2015. "Responding to a Shadow Banking Crisis: The Lessons of 1763," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(6), pages 1149-1176, September.
    2. Nogues-Marco, Pilar, 2017. "Money Markets and Exchange Rates in Pre-Industrial Europe," Working Papers unige:100808, University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History.
    3. Nogues-Marco, Pilar, 2011. "The microeconomics of bullionism : arbitrage, smuggling and silver outflows in Spain in the early 18th century," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp11-05, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    4. repec:spr:cliomt:v:11:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0146-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    arbitrage; bimetallic stability; bullion market integration; melting-minting points; monetary policy; specie-point mechanism;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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