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Harvests and Financial Crises in Gold Standard America

  • Christopher Hanes (a1) and Paul W. Rhode (a2)

Abstract

Most American financial crises of the postbellum gold standard era were caused by fluctuations in the cotton harvest due to exogenous factors such as weather. The transmission channel ran through export revenues and financial markets under the pre-1914 monetary regime. A poor cotton harvest depressed export revenues and reduced international demand for American assets, which depressed American stock prices, drained deposits from money center banks and precipitated a business cycle downturn—conditions that bred financial crises. The crises caused by cotton harvests could have been prevented by an American central bank, even under gold standard constraints.

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Harvests and Financial Crises in Gold Standard America

  • Christopher Hanes (a1) and Paul W. Rhode (a2)

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