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The Restoration of the Gold Standard after the US Civil War: A Volatility Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Max Meulemann
  • Martin Uebele
  • Bernd Wilfling

Abstract

Using a Markov-switching GARCH model this paper analyzes the volatility evolution of the greenback's price in gold from after the Civil War until the return to gold convertibility in 1879. The econometric inference associated with our methodology indicates a switch to a regime of low volatility roughly seven months before the actual resumption. Since this empirical finding is most likely to be reconciled with a change in market expectations, we conclude that expectations affected the exchange rate more than fundamentals. Our analysis also demonstrates that regime switches in the volatility of exchange rates may refl ect historical events that remain undiscovered otherwise.

Suggested Citation

  • Max Meulemann & Martin Uebele & Bernd Wilfling, 2011. "The Restoration of the Gold Standard after the US Civil War: A Volatility Analysis," CQE Working Papers 2011, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.
  • Handle: RePEc:cqe:wpaper:2011
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    File URL: https://www.wiwi.uni-muenster.de/cqe/sites/cqe/files/CQE_Paper/CQE_WP_20_2011.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Officer, Lawrence H., 1981. "The Floating Dollar in the Greenback Period: A Test of Theories of Exchange-Rate Determination," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(03), pages 629-650, September.
    2. Wilfling, Bernd, 2009. "Volatility regime-switching in European exchange rates prior to monetary unification," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 240-270, March.
    3. Calomiris, Charles W, 1994. "Price and Exchange Rate Determination during the Greenback Suspension," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(2), pages 344-344, April.
    4. Smith, Gregor W & Smith, R Todd, 1990. "Stochastic Process Switching and the Return to Gold, 1925," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 164-175, March.
    5. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1983. "A Model of Stochastic Process Switching," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 537-551, May.
    6. Smith, Gregor W. & Smith, R. Todd, 1997. "Greenback-Gold Returns and Expectations of Resumption, 1862–1879," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(03), pages 697-717, September.
    7. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1.
    8. Wilfling, Bernd & Maennig, Wolfgang, 2001. "Exchange rate dynamics in anticipation of time-contingent regime switching: modelling the effects of a possible delay," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 91-113, February.
    9. Dueker, Michael J, 1997. "Markov Switching in GARCH Processes and Mean-Reverting Stock-Market Volatility," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(1), pages 26-34, January.
    10. Charles W. Calomiris, 1992. "Greenback Resumption and Silver Risk: The Economics and Politics of Monetary Regime Change in the United States, 1862-1900," NBER Working Papers 4166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Sutherland, Alan, 1995. "State- and time-contingent switches of exchange rate regime," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 361-374, May.
    12. Gray, Stephen F., 1996. "Modeling the conditional distribution of interest rates as a regime-switching process," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-62, September.
    13. De Grauwe, Paul & Dewachter, Hans & Veestraeten, Dirk, 1999. "Price dynamics under stochastic process switching: some extensions and an application to EMU1," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 195-224, February.
    14. Froot, Kenneth A. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Exchange-rate dynamics under stochastic regime shifts : A unified approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 203-229, November.
    15. Miller, Marcus & Sutherland, Alan, 1994. "Speculative Anticipations of Sterling's Return to Gold: Was Keynes Wrong?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 804-812, July.
    16. Gelman, Sergey & Wilfling, Bernd, 2009. "Markov-switching in target stocks during takeover bids," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 745-758, December.
    17. Willard, Kristen L & Guinnane, Timothy W & Rosen, Harvey S, 1996. "Turning Points in the Civil War: Views from the Greenback Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1001-1018, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary history; 19th century; USA; greenback; Markov-switching GARCH models;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching

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