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Fetters of Gold and Paper

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  • Barry Eichengreen
  • Peter Temin

Abstract

We describe in this essay why the gold standard and the euro are extreme forms of fixed exchange rates, and how these policies had their most potent effects in the worst peaceful economic periods in modern times. While we are lucky to have avoided another catastrophe like the Great Depression in 2008-9, mainly by virtue of policy makers' aggressive use of monetary and fiscal stimuli, the world economy still is experiencing many difficulties. As in the Great Depression, this second round of problems stems from the prevalence of fixed exchange rates. Fixed exchange rates facilitate business and communication in good times but intensify problems when times are bad.

Suggested Citation

  • Barry Eichengreen & Peter Temin, 2010. "Fetters of Gold and Paper," NBER Working Papers 16202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16202
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fishlow, Albert, 1985. "Lessons from the past: capital markets during the 19th century and the interwar period," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 383-439, June.
    2. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1992. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America," MPRA Paper 13843, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, March.
    4. David Vines, 2003. "John maynard keynes 1937-1946: the creation of international macroeconomics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages 338-361, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:dyncon:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:187-215 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. George Chouliarakis & Sophia Lazaretou, 2014. "Deja vu? The Greek crisis experience, the 2010s versus the 1930s. Lessons from history," Working Papers 176, Bank of Greece.
    3. Harris Dellas & George S. Tavlas, 2011. "The fatal flaw: the revived Bretton-woods system, liquidity creation, and commodity-price bubbles," Working Papers 122, Bank of Greece.
    4. Spahn Peter, 2012. "Diskussionsbeitrag / Discussion. Paper David Hume und die Target-Salden," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(4), pages 482-488, August.
    5. Bordo, Michael & James, Harold, 2014. "The European Crisis in the Context of the History of Previous Financial Crises," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 275-284.
    6. Nicholas Crafts & Peter Fearon, 2010. "Lessons from the 1930s Great Depression," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 285-317, Autumn.
    7. Elmas Yaldiz Hanedar & Avni Önder Hanedar & Ferdi Çelikay, 2017. "Effects of reforms and supervisory organizations: Evidence from the Ottoman Empire and the Istanbul bourse," Working Papers 0112, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    8. Deborah Mabbett & Waltraud Schelkle, 2015. "What difference does Euro membership make to stabilization? The political economy of international monetary systems revisited," Review of International Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 508-534, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative

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