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Violations of the `Rules of the Game' and the Credibility of the Classical Gold Standard, 1880-1914

  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Ronald MacDonald

This paper examines the recently noted finding that the Classical gold standard represented a credible, well-behaved target zone system from the perspective of the well-documented failure of countries to play by the rules of the game in the classical period. In particular, we test an hypothesis of Svensson (1994) that a credible target zone can confer on a country a degree of independence in the operation of its monetary policy. We propose a number of ways of testing this proposition and implement them for a newly created monthly data base over the period 1880-1913. We demonstrate that the Classical gold standard worked in the way predicted by Svensson's model. This would seem to have an important bearing on the kind of institutional framework required for a modern day target zone (such as the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the European Monetary System) to function effectively and, in particular, to weather speculative attacks.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6115.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6115.

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Date of creation: Jul 1997
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Publication status: published as Bordo, Michael D. and Ronald MacDonald. "Interest Rate Interactions In The Classical Gold Standard, 1880-1914: Was There Any Monetary Independence?," Journal of Monetary Economics, 2005, v52(2,Mar), 307-327.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6115
Note: DAE IFM ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  12. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 1998. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," NBER Chapters, in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 353-402 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Michael D. Bordo, 1984. "The Gold Standard: The Traditional Approach," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Classical Gold Standard, 1821-1931, pages 23-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Eichengreen, Barry & Watson, Mark W & Grossman, Richard S, 1985. "Bank Rate Policy under the Interwar Gold Standard: A Dynamic Probit Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 725-45, September.
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