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Floating against the tide : Spanish monetary policy, 1870-1931

  • Pablo Martín-Aceña

    ()

  • Elena Martínez Ruiz

    ()

  • Pilar Nogues-Marco

    ()

The gold standard began to emerge as a universal monetary system in the late 1870s, and it had spread throughout the world economy by 1900. It was unusual for nations to be off the gold standard, and it meant that they were detached from the international financial community. Spain never joined the gold standard club in any of its varieties, either before or after 1914. Unlike the vast majority of the European currencies, the peseta’s exchange rate fluctuated, sometimes widely, against gold and gold currencies. Gold convertibility was suspended in 1883 and never resumed. Nevertheless, the monetary authorities were aware that the Spanish economy, off the gold standard, was an outlier in the international economy and made plans to put the peseta on gold both before and after 1914.Why Spain never adopted the gold standard is a complex issue, and our paper offers a possible answer by examining the behaviour of an issuing bank that refused to accept, or resisted, its role as a central bank. Our study also provides a basis for a comparison between the Bank of Spain, some of its features and policies, with other peripheral issuing institutions. Moreover, our paper encompasses both the pre-war and the post-war periods, which allows us to present both the similarities and the differences in the exchange and monetary policies of the Spanish authorities during the era of the classical gold standard and the years of the gold exchange standard

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales in its series Working Papers in Economic History with number wp11-10.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp11-10
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  1. Michael D. Bordo & Ronald MacDonald, 2001. "The Inter-War Gold Exchange Standard: Credibility and Monetary Independence," NBER Working Papers 8429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sabate, Marcela & Gadea, Maria Dolores & Escario, Regina, 2006. "Does fiscal policy influence monetary policy? The case of Spain, 1874-1935," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 309-331, April.
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