NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Thomas Helbling

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Working Papers

June 2010International Business Cycle Synchronization in Historical Perspective
with Michael D. Bordo: w16103
In this paper, we review and attempt to explain the changes in business cycle synchronization among 16 industrial countries and the over the past century and a quarter, demarcated into four exchange rate regimes. We find that there is a secular trend towards increased synchronization for much of the twentieth century and that it occurs across diverse exchange rate regimes. This finding is in marked contrast to much of the recent literature, which has focused primarily on the evidence for the past 20 or 30 years and which has produced mixed results. We then examine the role of global shocks and shock transmission in the trend toward synchronization. Our key finding here is that global (common) shocks generally are the dominant influence.

Published: Michael D. Bordo & Thomas F. Helbling, 2011. "International Business Cycle Synchronization In Historical Perspective," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(2), pages 208-238, 03. citation courtesy of

August 2006Swiss Exchange Rate Policy in the 1930s. Was the Delay in Devaluation Too High a Price to Pay for Conservatism?
with Michael Bordo, Harold James: w12491
In this paper we examine the experience of Switzerland’s devaluation in 1936. The Swiss case is of interest because Switzerland was a key member of the gold bloc, and much of the modern academic literature on the Great Depression tries to explain why Switzerland and the other gold bloc countries, France, and the Netherlands, remained on the gold standard until the bitter end. We ask the following questions: what were the issues at stake in the political debate? What was the cost to Switzerland of the delay in the franc devaluation? What would have been the costs and benefits of an earlier exchange rate policy? More specifically, what would have happened if Switzerland had either joined the British and devalued in September 1931, or followed the United States in April 1933? To answer thes...

Published: Michael Bordo & Thomas Helbling & Harold James, 2007. "Swiss Exchange Rate Policy in the 1930s. Was the Delay in Devaluation Too High a Price to Pay for Conservatism?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-25, February. citation courtesy of

December 2003Have National Business Cycles Become More Synchronized?
with Michael D. Bordo: w10130
In this paper, we document evidence on the synchronization of business cycles across 16 countries over the past century and a quarter, demarcated into four exchange rate regimes. We find using three different methodologies that there is a secular trend towards increased synchronization for much of the twentieth century and that it occurs across diverse exchange rate regimes. This finding is in marked contrast to much of the recent literature, which has focused primarily on the evidence for the past 20 or 30 years and which has produced mixed results. We then considered a number of possible explanations for the observed pattern of increased synchronization. We first ascertained the role of shocks demarcated into country-specific (idiosyncratic) and global (common). Our key finding here is t...

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