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International Borrowing Cycles: A New Historical Database


  • Graciela L. Kaminsky


The ongoing slowdown in international capital flows has brought again to the attention the booms and bust cycles in international borrowing. Many suggest that capital flow bonanzas are excessive, ending in crises. One of the most frequently mentioned culprits are the cycles of monetary easing and tightening in the financial centers. More recently, the 2008 Subprime Crisis in the United States has also been blamed for the retrenchment in capital flows to both developed and developing countries. To further understand international capital flow cycles, I construct a new database on capital flows spanning the first episode of financial globalization from 1820 to 1931. During this episode, monetary policy in the financial center is constrained by the adherence to the Gold Standard, thus providing a benchmark for global cycles in the absence of an active role of central banks in the financial centers. Also, panics in the financial center are rare disasters that can only be studied in this longer episode of financial globalization. This paper presents the historical data with an example for Latin America.

Suggested Citation

  • Graciela L. Kaminsky, 2016. "International Borrowing Cycles: A New Historical Database," NBER Working Papers 22819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22819
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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo Gabriel Bortz & Nicole Toftum & Nicolás Hernán Zeolla, 2021. "Old Cycles and New Vulnerabilities: Financial Deregulation and the Argentine Crisis," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 52(3), pages 598-626, May.
    2. Nicolás Zeolla & Florencia Médici, 2022. "Desregulación, endeudamiento y fragilidad financiera externa: un enfoque minskiano para la crisis argentina 2018-2019," Ensayos de Economía 20592, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Medellín.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F65 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Finance

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