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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2023
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Book description

Central banks were not always as ubiquitous as they are today. Their functions were circumscribed, their mandates ambiguous, and their allegiances once divided. The inter-war period saw the establishment of twenty-eight new central banks – most in what are now called emerging markets and developing economies. The Emergence of the Modern Central Bank and Global Cooperation provides a new account of their experience, explaining how these new institutions were established and how doctrinal knowledge was transferred. Combining synthetic analysis with national case studies, this book shows how institutional design and monetary practice were shaped by international organizations and leading central banks, which attached conditions to stabilization loans and dispatched 'money doctors.' It highlights how many of these arrangements fell through when central bank independence and the gold standard collapsed.


‘Central banks are vital to modern economies. They set monetary policy, supervise banks, and foster financial stability. Financial markets hang upon their every word. This volume presents the fascinating stories of central banks that were born amidst the economic turbulence of the inter-war period. These institutions, mostly in emerging and developing economies, have received far less attention than their older brethren. This book fills that gaping hole in the literature admirably.’

Richard Grossman - Andrews Professor of Economics, Wesleyan University

‘As we enter a new era for central banking it is crucial we understand how these institutions emerged and coped with previous ruptures in the global economy. The great depression of the interwar years was a formative time for central banks in many countries, especially due to experiments in central bank cooperation. This volume offers fresh insights into how central banks coped with crisis by focusing on less well understood examples in Eastern and Southern Europe, India and Australasia. The result is a fascinating volume that emphasises the variety of central banking practice in these crucial years.’

Catherine R. Schenk - Professor of Economic and Social History, St. Hilda's College, University of Oxford

‘Central banks in the 21st century have their work cut out for them as they cope with the classic exogenous shocks of disease, war, and famine within the global economy. The historians gathered by Barry Eichengreen and Andreas Kakridis in this volume make us hope that central bankers can learn from history, especially their own history, to cope with their challenges today.’

Larry Neal - Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Illinois

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  • 1 - Interwar Central Banks
    pp 3-39
  • A Tour d’ Horizon


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