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The Glitter of GoldFrance
and the Emergence of the International Gold Standard
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Marc Flandreau

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257867

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199257868.001.0001

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Bimetallism in Theory

Bimetallism in Theory

(p.15) 1 Bimetallism in Theory
The Glitter of Gold

Marc Flandreau

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 describes the international monetary landscape between 1848 and 1873. The prominent role of bullion is emphasized. It also reviews existing theories of the operation of a bimetallic system. The main point is that a bimetallic system rests on bimetallic arbitrage: agents will buy the depreciating metal and sell the appreciating one, herby stabilizing their relative value. This suggest that it is key to study the actual operation of bimetallic arbitrage.

Keywords:   Bimetallic Arbitrage, Bullion, Walras, Fisher, Friedman, General Equilibrium, Monetarism, Coordination, Government intervention, Gresham's Law

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