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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. 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.
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