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International Capital Mobility in History: Purchasing-Power Parity in the Long Run

  • Alan M. Taylor

This paper investigates purchasing-power parity (PPP) since the late nineteenth century for a sample of twenty countries, a broader sample of pooled annual data than has been studied before. Econometric results for time-series and panel samples allows us to test the robustness of the PPP hypothesis in different eras: the gold-standard, interwar, Bretton Woods, and the recent float. The evidence for PPP is mixed: Strong PPP, entailing stationarity of the real exchange rate, is not broadly supported, and real-exchange-rate dispersion shows counterintuitive historical patterns. However, not-much-weaker forms of PPP can be supported, with evidence of cointegration between different countries' common-currency price levels. Residual variances here confirm the conventional wisdom that the interwar period, particularly the Great Depression, represented the nadir of international capital market integration in the modern era.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5742.

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Date of creation: Sep 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as "Argentina and the World Capital Market: Saving, Investment,and International Capital Mobility in the Twentieth Century", Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 57, no. 1 (October 1998): 147-184.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5742
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  1. Charles Engel, 1996. "Long-Run PPP May Not Hold After All," NBER Working Papers 5646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1995. "A Panel Project on Purchasing Power Parity: Mean Reversion Within and Between Countries," NBER Working Papers 5006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Mark P. Taylor, 1995. "The Economics of Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 13-47, March.
  8. Hansen, Bruce E., 1995. "Rethinking the Univariate Approach to Unit Root Testing: Using Covariates to Increase Power," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 1148-1171, October.
  9. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1992. "The Evolution of Global Labor Markets Since 1830 Background Evidence and Hypotheses," NBER Historical Working Papers 0036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Horvath, Michael T.K. & Watson, Mark W., 1995. "Testing for Cointegration When Some of the Cointegrating Vectors are Prespecified," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 984-1014, October.
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  18. Alan M. Taylor, 1996. "International Capital Mobility in History: The Saving-Investment Relationship," NBER Working Papers 5743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:cup:etheor:v:11:y:1995:i:5:p:1148-71 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Isard,Peter, 1995. "Exchange Rate Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521466004, September.
  21. Diebold, Francis X & Husted, Steven & Rush, Mark, 1991. "Real Exchange Rates under the Gold Standard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1252-71, December.
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  24. Lothian, James R., 1990. "A century plus of Yen exchange rate behavior," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 47-70, March.
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  26. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-85, December.
  27. Kremers, Jeroen J M & Ericsson, Neil R & Dolado, Juan J, 1992. "The Power of Cointegration Tests," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 325-48, August.
  28. Abuaf, Niso & Jorion, Philippe, 1990. " Purchasing Power Parity in the Long Run," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 157-74, March.
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