cover of book

A Retrospective on the Classical Gold Standard, 1821-1931
edited by Michael D. Bordo and Anna J. Schwartz
University of Chicago Press, 1984
eISBN: 978-0-226-06692-9 | Cloth: 978-0-226-06590-8
Library of Congress Classification HG297.R44 1984
Dewey Decimal Classification 332.4222

This is a timely review of the gold standard covering the 110 years of its operation until 1931, when Britain abandoned it in the midst of the Depression. Current dissatisfaction with floating rates of exchange has spurred interest in a return to a commodity standard. The studies in this volume were designed to gain a better understanding of the historical gold standard, but they also throw light on the question of whether restoring it today could help cure inflation, high interest rates, and low productivity growth.

The volume includes a review of the literature on the classical gold standard; studies the experience with gold in England, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Canada; and perspectives on international linkages and the stability of price-level trends under the gold standard. The articles and commentaries reflect strong, conflicting views among hte participants on issues of central bank behavior, purchasing-power an interest-rate parity, independent monetary policies, economic growth, the "Atlantic economy," and trends in commodity prices and long-term interest rates. This is a thoughtful and provocative book.
Michael D. Bordo is professor of economics at Rutgers University and a research associate of the NBER.
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