Paolo Di Martino

Corso della Rendita e andamenti del tasso di cambio della Lira negli anni del "gold standard" (1883-1893)

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This paper studies the pattern of the Lira exchange rate during the period 1883-1893. Although the Lira joined the specie standard, its value was extremely unstable and in 1894 the metal anchor was abandoned. A possible interpretation of this pattern is provided by the connection between the exchange rate and the value of Italian bonds ("Rendita"), traded both in the domestic and in the international markets. In foreign markets, the value of the "Rendita" reflected more the mood of the international markets than the conditions of the fundamentals of the Italian economy. On the other hand, in Italy the price of bonds was rather stable, so as to produce a spread between the value of bonds in the domestic and in the international markets. Italian speculators spotted the possibility of making profits by buying bonds abroad and selling them in Italy. This operation led to a worsening of the exchange rate.

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