Core or periphery ? The Credibility of the Habsburg Currency, 1867-1914
University Library LMU Munich
We explore the history of the Austro-Hungarian currency through the floating exchange rate regime of the 1870s and 1880s and the adoption of the gold standard in 1892. Though actual convertibility remained an elusive dream, the A-H Bank was able to stabilise the currency by establishing a credible (de facto) shadow-gold standard by 1896. Though the currency fluctuated by as much as 7% per annum before 1896, credibility was established very quickly, and thereafter the currency was successfully kept within an informal target zone of 0.4%, despite of the well-known internal (and external) political problems of the monarchy and in spite of a number of major financial crisis of foreign origin. This remarkable record positions the Dual Monarchy squarely in between the elite core and the plebeian peripheral countries of the time.