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Hegemonic Stability Theories of the International Monetary System

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  • Barry Eichengreen

Abstract

Specialists in international relations have argued that international regimes operate smoothly and exhibit stability only when dominated by a single, exceptionally powerful national economy. In particular, this "theory of hegemonic stability" has been applied to the international monetary system. The maintenance of the Bretton Woods System for a quarter century through 1971 is ascribed to the singular power of the United States in the postwar world, while the persistence of the classical gold standard is similarly ascribed to Britain's dominance of the 19th-century international economy. In contrast, the instability of the interwar gold-exchange standard is attributed to the absence of a hegemonic power. This paper assesses the applicability of hegemonic stability theory to international monetary relations, approaching the question from both theoretical and empirical vantage points. While that theory is of some help for understanding the relatively smooth operation of the classical gold standard and early Bretton Woods System as well as some of the difficulties of the interwar years, much of the evidence proves to be difficult to reconcile with the hegemonic stability view.

Suggested Citation

  • Barry Eichengreen, 1987. "Hegemonic Stability Theories of the International Monetary System," NBER Working Papers 2193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2193 Note: ITI IFM
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    Cited by:

    1. Kathryn M.E. Dominguez, 1993. "The Role of International Organizations in the Bretton Woods System," NBER Chapters,in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 357-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Eichengreen, Barry, 1993. "The Endogeneity of Exchange Rate Regimes," CEPR Discussion Papers 812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Charles Wyplosz, 1997. "EMU: Why and How It Might Happen," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 3-21, Fall.
    4. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Yeganeh Forouheshfar, 2013. "The Impact of Yuan Internationalization on the Euro-Dollar Exchange Rate," PSE - G-MOND WORKING PAPERS hal-00961708, HAL.
    5. Agnes Benassy-Quere & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2011. "What International Monetary System for a Fast-Changing World Economy?," Book Chapters,in: Jack T. Boorman & André Icard (ed.), Reform of the International Monetary System: The Palais Royal Initiative, chapter 21, pages 255-298 Emerging Markets Forum.
    6. Devereux, Michael B. & Shi, Kang & Xu, Juanyi, 2007. "Global monetary policy under a dollar standard," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 113-132, March.
    7. Bénassy-Quéré, Agnès & Forouheshfar, Yeganeh, 2015. "The impact of yuan internationalization on the stability of the international monetary system," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 115-135.
    8. Pietro Alessandrini & Michele Fratianni, 2009. "Resurrecting Keynes to Stabilize the International Monetary System," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 339-358, July.
    9. P. Gray, 1996. "The ongoing weakening of the international financial system," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 49(197), pages 165-186.
    10. Lin, Justin Yifu & Fardoust, Shahrokh & Rosenblatt, David, 2012. "Reform of the international monetary system : a jagged history and uncertain prospects," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6070, The World Bank.
    11. Hartmann, Philipp & Issing, Otmar, 2002. "The international role of the euro," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 315-345, July.
    12. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2011. "Quel système monétaire international pour une économie mondiale en mutation rapide ?," Working Papers 2011-04, CEPII research center.
    13. Michael D. Bordo & Finn E. Kydland, 1990. "The Gold Standard as a Rule," NBER Working Papers 3367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. Sergey Narkevich & Pavel Trunin, 2012. "Reserve Currencies: Factors of Evolution and their Role in the World Economy," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 162P.
    16. Peter Mooslechner & Martin Schuerz, 1999. "International Macroeconomic Policy Coordination: Any Lessons for EMU? A Selective Survey of the Literature," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 171-199, September.
    17. repec:ers:journl:v:xx:y:2017:i:3b:p:269-279 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. P. Gray, 1996. "The ongoing weakening of the international financial system," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 49(197), pages 165-186.

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