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The Gold Standard as a Rule

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  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Finn E. Kydland

Abstract

In this paper, we show that the monetary rule followed by a number of key countries, especially England and to a lesser extent the U. S., before 1914 represented a commitment technology preventing the monetary authorities from changing planned future policy. The experiences of these major countries suggest that the gold standard was intended as a contingent rule. By that, we mean, that the authorities could temporarily abandon the fixed price of gold during a wartime emergency on the understanding that convertibility at the original price of gold would be restored when the emergency passed. The experiences of other countries, however, suggest that the gold standard rule was often viewed more as a desirable goal than an operational constraint.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael D. Bordo & Finn E. Kydland, 1990. "The Gold Standard as a Rule," NBER Working Papers 3367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3367
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph G. Haubrich & Joseph A. Ritter, 1996. "Dynamic commitment and imperfect policy rules," Working Papers (Old Series) 9601, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    2. Eichengreen, Barry, 1993. "The Endogeneity of Exchange Rate Regimes," CEPR Discussion Papers 812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "International Monetary Arrangements for the 21st Century," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-021, University of California at Berkeley.
    4. Bordo, Michael D & Redish, Angela, 1993. "Maximizing Seignorage Revenue during Temporary Suspensions of Convertibility: A Note," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 157-168, January.
    5. Maurice Obstfeld, 1993. "The Adjustment Mechanism," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 201-268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Esteves, Rui Pedro & Reis, Jaime & Ferramosca, Fabiano, 2009. "Market Integration in the Golden Periphery. The Lisbon/London Exchange, 1854-1891," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 324-345, July.
    7. Ritter, Joseph A, 1995. "The Transition from Barter to Fiat Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 134-149, March.
    8. Bordo, Michael D. & Jonung, Lars, 1994. "Monetary Regimes, Inflation and Monetary Reform: An Essay in Honor of Axel Leijonhufvud," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 16, Stockholm School of Economics.
    9. Arthur J. Rolnick & Warren E. Weber, 1994. "Inflation, money, and output under alternative monetary standards," Staff Report 175, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    10. Iljoong Kim & Inbae Kim, 2005. "Endogenous changes in the exchange rate regime: A bureaucratic incentive model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 339-361, December.
    11. Ben Bemanke & Harold James, 1991. "The Gold Standard, Deflation, and Financial Crisis in the Great Depression: An International Comparison," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets and Financial Crises, pages 33-68, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Rui Pedro Esteves, 2007. "Quis custodiet quem? Sovereign Debt and Bondholders` Protection Before 1914," Economics Series Working Papers 323, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    13. H.P. Grãœner & C. Hefeker, 1995. "Domestic pressures and the exchange rate regime: why economically bad decisions are politically popular?," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 48(194), pages 331-350.
    14. Michael D. Bordo & Finn E. Kydland, 1990. "The Gold Standard as a Rule," NBER Working Papers 3367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Muscatelli, V Anton, 1998. "Political Consensus, Uncertain Preferences, and Central Bank Independence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 412-430, July.
    16. Susanto Basu & Alan M. Taylor, 1999. "Business Cycles in International Historical Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 45-68, Spring.
    17. Richard S. Grossman, 2006. "Other People’s Money: The Evolution of Bank Capital in the Industrialized World," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2006-020, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.

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