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Emerging from the war: Gold Standard mentality, current accounts and the international business cycle 1885-1939

  • Mathias Hoffmann
  • Ulrich Woitek

We study international business cycles and capital flows in the UK, the United States and the Emerging Periphery in the period 1885-1939. Based on the same set of parameters, our model explains current account dynamics under both the Classical Gold Standard and during the Interwar period. We interpret this as evidence for Gold Standard mentality: the expectation formation mechanism with respect to major macroeconomic variables driving the current account – output, exchange rates and interest rates – has remained fundamentally stable between the two periods. Nonetheless, the macroeconomic environment changed: Volatility increased generally, but less so for international capital flows than for GDP. This pattern is consistent with shocks in the Interwar period becoming more persistent and more global.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 057.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:057
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  1. Takashi Kano, 2003. "A Structural VAR Approach to the Intertemporal Model of the Current Account," Staff Working Papers 03-42, Bank of Canada.
  2. Kano, Takashi, 2009. "Habit formation and the present-value model of the current account: Yet another suspect," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 72-85, June.
  3. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501, July.
  4. James M. Nason & John H. Rogers, 1999. "Investment and the current account in the short run and the long run," International Finance Discussion Papers 647, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Meissner, Christopher M & Taylor, Alan M., 2006. "Losing our Marbles in the New Century? The Great Rebalancing in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5917, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Maurico Obstfeld, 2004. "External adjustment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 140(4), pages 541-568, December.
  7. Obstfeld,Maurice & Taylor,Alan M., 2005. "Global Capital Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671798, 1.
  8. Hoffmann, Mathias, 2001. "Long run recursive VAR models and QR decompositions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 15-20, October.
  9. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Nikolaus Wolf & Albrecht O. Ritschl, 2011. "Endogeneity of Currency Areas and Trade Blocs: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 291-312, 05.
  11. Hoffmann, Mathias, 1999. "International macroeconomic fluctuations and the current account," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9915, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  12. Wright, Mark L. J., 2004. "Global Capital Markets: Integration, Crisis, and Growth. By Maurice Obstfeld and Alan M. Taylor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. xviii, 354. $65," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(04), pages 1151-1153, December.
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