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Canada and the Gold Standard


  • Page extent: 256 pages
  • Size: 229 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.38 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521617062 | ISBN-10: 0521617065)

In this re-examination of Canada's balance-of-payments experience under the gold standard, the authors develop and empirically test a new portfolio approach to the mechanism of balance-of-payments adjustment. This adjustment mechanism responded to massive inflows of foreign capital during a critical period of Canada's economic growth in the early years of the twentieth century. The authors show that the existence of international mobility of capital requires a fundamental revision of the price-specie-flow theory that has traditionally been used to explain adjustment when the balance of payments was more nearly dominated by the balance of trade. The approach taken by Professors Dick and Floyd not only answers the critics of Jacob Viner, who first explored the Canadian case after 1900, but also offers a new perspective on how the gold standard in general actually worked. This interpretation of the Canadian experience is an extension of the monetary approach to balance-of-payments adjustment that realizes the full implications of international capital mobility.


List of tables and figures; Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The standard neoclassical specie-flow mechanism; 3. A new view of gold standard adjustment; 4. An empirical overview; 5. Statistical tests of goods and asset market adjustments; 6. Evidence on the process of balance-of-payments adjustment; 7. Some further evidence on structure and timing; 8. 'Canada's balance': Viner and his critics; 9. The theoretical implications of capital mobility; 10. 'Canada's balance of indebtedness': reinterpretating the historical evidence; 11. Conclusions. How the gold standard worked; Appendices; References; Index.

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