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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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  1. Andrew K. Rose & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1991. "Expected and Predicted Realignments: The FF/DM Exchange Rate During the EMS," NBER Working Papers 3685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Campbell, John & Shiller, Robert, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Scholarly Articles 3122490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Eichengreen, Barry, 1987. "Conducting the international orchestra: Bank of England leadership under the classical gold standard," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 5-29, March.
  4. Bordo, Michael D. & Rockoff, Hugh, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 389-428, June.
  5. Alberto Giovannini, 1993. "Bretton Woods and Its Precursors: Rules versus Discretion in the History of International Monetary Regimes," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 109-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bertola, G. & Svensson, L.E., 1990. "Stochastic Devaluation Risk and the Empirical Fit of Target Zone Models," Papers 481, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  7. Hendry, D.F. & Mizon, G.E., 1990. "Evaluating Dynamic Econometric Models By Encompassing The Var," Economics Series Working Papers 99102, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Peter C.B. Phillips & Bruce E. Hansen, 1988. "Statistical Inference in Instrumental Variables," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 869R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 1989.
  9. Stock, James H, 1987. "Asymptotic Properties of Least Squares Estimators of Cointegrating Vectors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1035-56, September.
  10. Michele Fratianni & Franco Spinelli, 1984. "Italy in the Gold Standard Period, 1861-1914," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Classical Gold Standard, 1821-1931, pages 405-454 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Campbell, John & Perron, Pierre, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know about Unit Roots," Scholarly Articles 3374863, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Krugman, Paul R, 1991. "Target Zones and Exchange Rate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 669-82, August.
  13. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1988. "Optimal Inference in Cointegrated Systems," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 866R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 1989.
  14. 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.
  15. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1984. "A Retrospective on the Classical Gold Standard, 1821-1931," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord84-1, December.
  16. 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.
  17. Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M., 1997. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," CEPR Discussion Papers 1633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  19. Giovannini, Alberto, 1986. "`Rules of the game' during the International Gold Standard: England and Germany," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 467-483, December.
  20. Ben S. Bernanke, 1986. "Alternative Explanations of the Money-Income Correlation," NBER Working Papers 1842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Paul McGouldrick, 1984. "Operations of the German Central Bank and the Rules of the Game, 1879-1913," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Classical Gold Standard, 1821-1931, pages 311-360 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-80, November.
  24. Barry Eichengreen & Peter Temin, 1997. "The Gold Standard and the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 6060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Banerjee, Anindya, et al, 1986. "Exploring Equilibrium Relationships in Econometrics through Static Models: Some Monte Carlo Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(3), pages 253-77, August.
  26. Lars Jonung, 1984. "Swedish Experience under the Classical Gold Standard, 1873-1914," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Classical Gold Standard, 1821-1931, pages 361-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  28. John Dutton, 1984. "The Bank of England and the Rules of the Game under the International Gold Standard: New Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Classical Gold Standard, 1821-1931, pages 173-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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