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Interest parity conditions during the classical gold standard (1880 -1914) - Evidence from the investment demand for bills of exchange in Europe


  • Nils Herger

    (Study Center Gerzensee, Switzerland.)


This paper examines several versions of the (covered and uncovered) interest parity condition that arguably held as regards the investment demand for bills of exchange during the classical gold standard (1880 - 1914). Contemporaneous guide books about the foreign exchanges report that close connections between the exchange and interest (or discount) rates arose mainly between London and the major financial centres on the European continent. As implied by the interest parity condition, and in particular when future exchange rate movements were covered via a suitable long-bill transaction, weekly data suggest indeed that between Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and London, the return from discounting bills of exchange in the local money market was roughly equivalent to the (exchange rate adjusted) return from investing in foreign bills.

Suggested Citation

  • Nils Herger, 2016. "Interest parity conditions during the classical gold standard (1880 -1914) - Evidence from the investment demand for bills of exchange in Europe," Discussion Papers 1607, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1607

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Flandreau, Marc & Jobst, Clemens, 2005. "The Ties that Divide: A Network Analysis of the International Monetary System, 1890 1910," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 977-1007, December.
    2. Flood, Robert P & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "Fixes: Of the Forward Discount Puzzle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 748-752, November.
    3. Taylor, Mark P, 1989. "Covered Interest Arbitrage and Market Turbulence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 376-391, June.
    4. Lothian, James R. & Wu, Liuren, 2011. "Uncovered interest-rate parity over the past two centuries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 448-473, April.
    5. Flandreau, Marc & Komlos, John, 2006. "Target zones in theory and history: Credibility, efficiency, and policy autonomy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1979-1995, November.
    6. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-652, Special I.
    7. Stefaano Ugolini, 2012. "The Bank of England as the World gold market-maker during the Classical gold standard era, 1889-1910," Working Paper 2012/15, Norges Bank.
    8. Coleman, Andrew, 2012. "Uncovering uncovered interest parity during the classical gold standard era, 1888–1905," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 20-37.
    9. V. Bignon & J. Chen & S. Ugolini, 2017. "Beneath the Gold Points: European Financial Market Integration, 1844-1870," Working papers 647, Banque de France.
    10. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/605 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Flandreau, Marc & Jobst, Clemens, 2005. "The Ties that Divide. A Network Analysis of the International Monetary System," CEPR Discussion Papers 5129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Chinn, Menzie D., 2006. "The (partial) rehabilitation of interest rate parity in the floating rate era: Longer horizons, alternative expectations, and emerging markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 7-21, February.
    13. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
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    More about this item


    Covered interest parity condition; Exchange rates; Gold standard; Uncovered interest parity condition;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • 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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