International Monetary Systems in Historical Perspective

  • Mark Baimbridge
  • Ioannis Litsios
  • Karen Jackson
  • Uih Ran Lee


Following the critical review of microeconomic aspects of economic integration in the form of customs unions, the creation of a single internal market, together with the macroeconomic issue of monetary union, this chapter explores lessons that could be applied in today’s environment from examining how seemingly successful fixed-rate regimes (e.g. the classical Gold Standard and Bretton Woods) each helped to establish an international economic environment that facilitated decades of economic expansion before a combination of political and economic factors forced their ultimate termination. Indeed, a badly constructed fixed exchange rate system, such as the 1920s return to the Gold Standard on pre–First World War parities or Exchange Rate Mechanism membership at too high a parity, has been associated with economic recession, bankruptcies, house price collapses and mass unemployment. Consequently, while a properly constructed system can be a benefit to participating countries, a badly designed regime can cause untold damage to its members.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017, corrected publication March 2018. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Baimbridge
    • 1
  • Ioannis Litsios
    • 2
  • Karen Jackson
    • 3
  • Uih Ran Lee
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Management University of BradfordBradfordUK
  2. 2.Plymouth Business School University of PlymouthPlymouthUK
  3. 3.Westminster Business School University of WestminsterLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of Economics and Related StudiesUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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