History as Reflected in Capital Markets: The Case of World War II
Historical events are reflected in asset prices. Looking at government bond prices of five European countries traded on the Swiss stock exchange during WWII provides a useful way of interpreting the importance attributed to various war events. We direct our attention to value changes in government bonds of five different nations: On the side of the Axis, Germany and Austria; on the side of the Allies, France; and the two neutral countries Belgium and Switzerland. The econometric analysis reveals that some events that are generally considered crucial are clearly reflected in government bond prices of the countries considered. This holds, in particular, for the official outbreak of the war in July to September 1939 (which sent down the government bond values not only of Austria, Belgium and France but also of Germany) and for losses and gains of national sovereignty. When Austria lost its independence and became part of "Grossdeutschland" the value of its government bonds fell by 46%. When it regained its nationhood in the Potsdam Conference Austria's government bonds rose by 12%. Similarly, when Belgium and France were defeated and occupied by the German forces in the "Blitzkrieg" of May 1940, the government bond values fell by not less than 35% and 31%, respectively. On the other hand, some events to which historians attach great attention are not reflected in bond prices at all: The most prominent example is the German capitulation in 1945. The analysis of financial markets is certainly no substitute to the traditional inquiries undertaken by historians. But it is a challenging complementary method to evaluate particular sentiments existing at a given moment of time.
|Date of creation:|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kristen L. Willard & Timothy W. Guinnane & Harvey S. Rosen, 1995.
"Turning Points in the Civil War: Views from the Greenback Market,"
NBER Working Papers
5381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Willard, Kristen L & Guinnane, Timothy W & Rosen, Harvey S, 1996. "Turning Points in the Civil War: Views from the Greenback Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1001-18, September.
- Banerjee, Anindya & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1992.
"Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit-Root and Trend-Break Hypotheses: Theory and International Evidence,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 271-87, July.
- Anindya Banerjee & Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock, 1990. "Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit Root and Trend Break Hypothesis: Theory and International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Forsythe, Robert & Forrest Nelson & George R. Neumann & Jack Wright, 1992. "Anatomy of an Experimental Political Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1142-61, December.
- Russell Sobel, 1998.
"Exchange rate evidence on the effectiveness of United Nations policy,"
Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 1-25, April.
- Sobel, Russell S, 1998. " Exchange Rate Evidence on the Effectiveness of United Nations Policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 1-25, April.
- Perron, P, 1988.
"The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis,"
338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
- Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Markets as Economizers of Information: Experimental Examination of the "Hayek Hypothesis"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(2), pages 165-79, April.
- De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard, 1985. " Does the Stock Market Overreact?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-805, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.