Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies
Bank of Japan
Nihonbashi-Hongokucho, 2-1-1, Chuo-ku
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2009||Why did Countries Adopt the Gold Standard? Lessons from Japan|
with Kris James Mitchener, Marc D. Weidenmier: w15195
Why did policymakers adopt the gold standard? Although previous research has identified ex post effects of gold standard adoption on trade and bond yields, few studies have sought to understand whether these were the actual outcomes of interest to policymakers at the time of adoption. We examine the political economy of Japan's adoption of the gold standard in 1897 by exploring the ex ante motives of policymakers as well as how the legislative decision to adopt gold won approval. We then link the beliefs of contemporaneous policymakers to data so that we can test the economic effects of adoption. In contrast to previous studies examining bond yields, we find little evidence that joining the gold standard reduced Japan's country risk or investors anticipated a dramatic decline in borrowing ...
Published: Mitchener, Kris James & Shizume, Masato & Weidenmier, Marc D., 2010. "Why did Countries Adopt the Gold Standard? Lessons from Japan," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(01), pages 27-56, March. citation courtesy of