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On the origins of the Triffin dilemma: Empirical business cycle analysis and imperfect competition theory

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  • Ivo Maes

    () (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department
    Université catholique de Louvain, Robert Triffin Chair
    ICHEC Brussels Management School)

Abstract

Robert Triffin became famous with his trenchant analyses of the vulnerabilities of the Bretton Woods system. These are still at the center of many discussions today. This paper argues that there is a remarkable continuity in Triffin's work. From his earliest writings, Triffin developed a vision that the international adjustment process was not functioning according to the classical mechanisms. This view was based on thorough empirical analyses of the Belgian economy during the Great Depression and shaped by a business cycle perspective with an emphasis on the disequilibria and the transition period. His doctoral dissertation on imperfect competition theory and his Latin American experience further reinforced this basic view.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivo Maes, 2012. "On the origins of the Triffin dilemma: Empirical business cycle analysis and imperfect competition theory," Working Paper Research 240, National Bank of Belgium.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201212-240
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    File URL: https://www.nbb.be/doc/oc/repec/reswpp/wp240en.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Douglas A. Irwin, 2010. "Did France Cause the Great Depression?," NBER Working Papers 16350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ivo Maes, 2002. "Economic Thought and the Making of European Monetary Union," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2515.
    3. Paul Mandy, 2005. "L'héritage de Léon-H. Dupriez : un survol," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 11-30.
    4. Ivo Maes, 2010. "A century of macroeconomic and monetary thought at the National Bank of Belgium," Working Paper Research 188, National Bank of Belgium.
    5. Ivo Maes & Erik Buyst, 2005. "Migration and Americanization: The special case of Belgian economics," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 73-88.
    6. F. W. Taussig, 1917. "International Trade Under Depreciated Paper. A Contribution to Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(3), pages 380-403.
    7. Eichengreen, Barry, 2012. "Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199642472.
    8. Rebeca Gomez Betancourt, 2010. "Edwin Walter Kemmerer and the origins of the Federal Reserve System," Post-Print halshs-00559631, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Triffin; Bretton Woods; international liquidity; business cycle theory; imperfect competition theory;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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