Did the classical gold standard lead to greater business cycle synchronization? Evidence from new measures

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Issue Date
2014-02
Authors
Miles, William
Vijverberg, Chu-Ping C.
Advisor
Citation

Miles, W. and Vijverberg, C.-P. C. (2014), Did the Classical Gold Standard Lead to Greater Business Cycle Synchronization? Evidence from New Measures. Kyklos, vol. 67:no. 1:ppg. 93–115

Abstract

Previous studies have presented findings suggesting that the gold standard may have led to an increase in business cycle synchronization among its member countries. This follows a growing literature which posits that currency unions in general lead to greater synchronization of business cycles. The previous papers on the gold standard, however, suffer from simultaneity problems, and incomplete measures of just how synchronized output gaps are. We accordingly apply two new measures of business cycle coherence which have recently been applied to the modern Euro zone. These measures account both for differences in the sign as well as the amplitude of output gaps, and can be computed on a period-by-period basis, unlike previous metrics. In addition, we employ two other methods which do not allow for time-varying estimation, but have been employed in other studies of output convergence. We find, contrary to the earlier studies, that the classical gold standard did not appear to increase the coherence of business cycles.

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