Credible Commitment and Exchange Rate Stability: Canada's Interwar Experience
In January 1929 the Canadian government suspended gold exports and began a floating exchange rate regime that endured until the onset of World War 11. In sharp contrast with the experience of other countries which left the gold standard, deflation and declining economic activity continued in Canada until 1933. This paper examines the determinants of the Canadian exchange rate in the 1930's and provides an answer to the question of why the Canadian dollar did not depreciate in the early 1930's despite Canada's de facto departure from the Gold Standard. We develop the answer in two stages. First, we show that the government made a clear commitment to maintain a contractionary monetary policy. It did so because it believed: that monetary expansion would increase the value of external obligations without reducing the value of domestic obligations; and that even if all contractual obligations were met, Canada would lose her reputation as a responsible debtor. Second, we argue that the government's commitment was viewed by the public as credible. The credible commitment dominated market agent's expectations of the evolution of the exchange rate.
|Date of creation:||Nov 1987|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 357-380, (May 1990).|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Choudhri, Ehsan U & Kochin, Levis A, 1980. "The Exchange Rate and the International Transmission of Business Cycle Disturbances: Some Evidence from the Great Depression," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 565-74, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2431. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.