The gold standard and the euro: A reflection from a reading of A Tract on Monetary Reform


  • Vicente Esteve Universidad de Valencia, Spain
  • Manuel Navarro-Ibáñez Universidad de La Laguna, Spain
  • María A. Prats Universidad de Murcia, Spain

Palabras clave:

Keynes, Monetary policy, Central bank, Exchange rates, Gold standard, Euro system


This paper makes a comparison between the gold standard and the euro through a study of Keynes’s views on the need to manage the macroeconomic situation of an industrial economy. The essay centers on Keynes’s first relevant economic work of the post World War I years, A Tract on Monetary Reform, analyzing its theoretical and practical content. The situation of monetary instability and the choice of exchange regime (to return or not to the gold standard, with the parity prior to the war) were the factors that attracted Keynes’s attention in those years. Similarities between the gold standard and the present euro system bestow a certain interest on Keynes’s ideas and on the economic discussions that took place in Great Britain during the postwar years (1919---1925).