A Trove of Data on Currency Boards

With Nicholas Krus, I have written a book-length working paper called Currency Board Financial Statements. Spreadsheets accompanying the paper contain the digitized balance sheet data of currency boards from dozens of countries, both as raw data and in standardized form similar to what the International Monetary Fund does in its International Financial Statistics database. The paper itself gives information necessary to understand the balance sheets and some other aspects of the operations of the currency boards. (Fair warning: the details are often dull, and most readers will want to treat the working paper as they would an encyclopedia, dipping in here and there rather reading cover to cover.)

Data extend from as far back as the mid 1800s to as recently as 2013. For a number of currency boards we have monthly data on currency in circulation as well as annual balance sheet data. The paper fills a large gap in world monetary history. Currency boards have been widespread, existing in more than 70 countries, but their data have not hitherto been available in machine-readable form except for a few recently established cases. Our paper, while not complete, contains data on most of the major currency boards and many of the minor ones. We intend to update the paper as we accumulate further data.

The paper is jointly issued by the CFS and  the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise, one of whose directors is CFS Special Counselor Steve H. Hanke. Nick Krus, my coathor, has twin interests in music and economics. While doing much of the work on the paper as an undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins and a researcher at the Institute, he was also in a band that was good enough to go on tour. Currently he combines his interests in his work as an Associate Analyst at Warner Music Group in New York.

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