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Exchange Rates and Casualties During the First World War

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  • George J. Hall

Abstract

I estimate two factor models of Swiss exchange rates during the FirstWorldWar. I have data for five of the primary belligerents: Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. At the outbreak of the war, these nations suspended convertibility of their currencies into gold with the promise that after the war each would restore convertibility at the old par. However, once convertibility was suspended, the value of each currency depended on the outcome of the war. I decompose exchange rate movements into a common trend, a common factor, and country-specific factors. Movements in the common trend are consistent with the quantity theory of money. The common factor contains information on contemporaries' expectations about the war's resolution. Innovations to this common factor are correlated with time series on soldiers killed, wounded, and taken prisoner.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Hall, 2002. "Exchange Rates and Casualties During the First World War," NBER Working Papers 9261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9261
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anderson, Evan W. & McGrattan, Ellen R. & Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1996. "Mechanics of forming and estimating dynamic linear economies," Handbook of Computational Economics,in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-252 Elsevier.
    2. Michael D. Bordo & Eugene N. White, 1990. "British and French Finance During the Napoleonic Wars," NBER Working Papers 3517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tobias A. Jopp, 2014. "How did the capital market evaluate Germany’s prospects for winning World War I? Evidence from the Amsterdam market for government bonds," Working Papers 0052, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. Samuel MAVEYRAUD & François CHOUNET, 2015. "Correlation of exchange rates and gold standard regime during World War 1 (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2015-33, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    3. Bryce Kanago & Ken McCormick, 2013. "The Dollar-Pound Exchange Rate During the First Nine Months of World War II," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(4), pages 385-404, December.
    4. Avni Önder Hanedar & Hatice Gaye Gencer & Sercan Demiralay & Ismail Altay, 2017. "Between war and peace: The Ottoman economy and foreign exchange trading at the Istanbul bourse," Working Papers 0108, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    5. Vincent Medina & Cyr-Denis Nidier, 2003. "Pricing war within a real option framework," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 425-435.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates

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