NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Arnaud J. Mehl

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Working Papers and Chapters

June 2014Mutual Assistance between Federal Reserve Banks, 1913-1960 as Prolegomena to the TARGET2 Debate
with Barry Eichengreen, Livia Chițu, Gary Richardson: w20267
This paper reconstructs the forgotten history of mutual assistance among Reserve Banks in the early years of the Federal Reserve System. We use data on accommodation operations by the 12 Reserve Banks between 1913 and 1960 which enabled them to mutualise their gold reserves in emergency situations. Gold reserve sharing was especially important in response to liquidity crises and bank runs. Cooperation among reserve banks was essential for the cohesion and stability of the US monetary union. But fortunes could change quickly, with emergency recipients of gold turning into providers. Because regional imbalances did not grow endlessly, instead narrowing when region-specific liquidity shocks subsided, mutual assistance created only limited tensions. These findings speak to the current debate o...
January 2013History, Gravity and International Finance
with Livia Chițu, Barry Eichengreen: w18697
We analyze patterns of bilateral financial investment using data on US investors' holdings of foreign bonds. We document a "history effect" in which the pattern of holdings seven decades ago continues to influence holdings today. 10 to 15% of the cross-country variation in US investors' foreign bond holdings is explained by holdings 70 years ago, plausibly reflecting fixed costs of market entry and exit together with endogenous learning. This effect is twice as large for bonds denominated in currencies other than the dollar, suggesting the existence of even higher fixed costs of initiating US foreign investment in such currencies. Our findings point to history and path dependence as key sources of financial market segmentation.

Published: Chiţu, Livia & Eichengreen, Barry & Mehl, Arnaud, 2014. "History, gravity and international finance," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 104-129. citation courtesy of

May 2012When did the dollar overtake sterling as the leading international currency? Evidence from the bond markets
with Livia Chitu, Barry Eichengreen: w18097
This paper offers new evidence on the emergence of the dollar as the leading international currency, focusing on its role as currency of denomination in global bond markets. We show that the dollar overtook sterling much earlier than commonly supposed, as early as in 1929. Financial market development appears to have been the main factor helping the dollar to surmount sterling’s head start. The finding that a shift from a unipolar to a multipolar international monetary and financial system has happened before suggests that it can happen again. That the shift occurred earlier than commonly believed suggests that the advantages of incumbency are not all they are cracked up to be. And that financial deepening was a key determinant of the dollar’s emergence points to the challenges facing curr...

Published: "When Did the Dollar Overtake Sterling as the Leading International Currency? Evidence from the Bond Markets", Journal of Development Economics (2013).

June 2011Global Crises and Equity Market Contagion
with Geert Bekaert, Michael Ehrmann, Marcel Fratzscher: w17121
Using the 2007-09 financial crisis as a laboratory, we analyze the transmission of crises to country-industry equity portfolios in 55 countries. We use a factor model to predict crisis returns, defining unexplained increases in factor loadings and residual correlations as indicative of contagion. We find statistically significant evidence of contagion from US markets and from the global financial sector, but the effects are economically small. By contrast, there has been substantial contagion from domestic equity markets to individual domestic equity portfolios, with its severity inversely related to the quality of countries’ economic fundamentals and policies. This confirms the old “wake-up call” hypothesis, with markets and investors focusing substantially more on country-specific charac...

Published: Geert Bekaert & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Arnaud Mehl, 2014. "The Global Crisis and Equity Market Contagion," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1352, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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