Capital Flows, Credit Booms, and Financial Crises in the Classical Gold Standard Era

Christopher M. Meissner

NBER Working Paper No. 18814
Issued in February 2013
NBER Program(s):   DAE

The classical gold standard period, 1880-1913, witnessed deep economic integration. High capital imports were related to better growth performance but may also have created greater volatility via financial crises. I first document the substantial output losses from various types of crises. I then explore the relationship between crises and two forces highlighted in the recent literature on financial crises: international capital movements and credit growth. Neither factor is sufficient to explain financial crises in this period. Instead, interactions between the informational environment, the fiscal situation, the exchange rate regime, and events beyond a nation's borders all help explain crises. Some examples are provided.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18814

Published: Revista de la Historia de la Economía y de la Empresa (Num.7) Nuevo número de la Revista de la Historia de la Economía y de la Empresa (2013). Dossier: Crisis Financieras en la Historia Luis Mª Bilbao y Ramón Lanza, coordinadores Capital Flows, Credit Booms, and Financial Crises in the Classical Gold Standard Era. Pág.65. Christopher M. Meissner (University of California, Davis, and NBER)

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