The Gold Standard As a Rule: An Essay in Exploration

Michael D. Bordo, Finn E. Kydland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


In this paper, we show that the monetary rule followed by a number of key countries before 1914 represented a commitment mechanism preventing the monetary authorities from changing planned future policy. The experiences of these major countries suggest that the gold standard was intended as a contingent rule. By that we mean that the authorities could temporarily abandon the fixed price of gold during an emergency (such as wartime) on the understanding that convertibility at the original price of gold would be restored when the emergency passed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71019
Pages (from-to)423-464
Number of pages42
JournalExplorations in Economic History
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics


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