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Do Old Habits Die Hard?
Central Banks and the Bretton Woods Gold Puzzle

by Eric Monnet and Damien Puy

Series:Working Paper No. 19/161
ISBN 9781498326773
Code: #WPIEA2019161

Publication year: 2019

Cdn: $27.00; US: $25.00
Paperback
Language: English
32 pages
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Why did monetary authorities hold large gold reserves under Bretton Woods (1944–1971) when only the US had to? We argue that gold holdings were driven by institutional memory and persistent habits of central bankers. Countries continued to back currency in circulation with gold reserves, following rules of the pre-WWII gold standard. The longer an institution spent in the gold standard (and the older the policymakers), the stronger the correlation between gold reserves and currency. Since dollars and gold were not perfect substitutes, the Bretton Woods system never worked as expected. Even after radical institutional change, history still shapes the decisions of policymakers.
Do Old Habits Die Hard?
Cdn: $27.00; US: $25.00
International Monetary Fund (IMF) BookID: 125568 Added: 2019.8.2