Cooperate or Free Ride?: The Scandinavian Central Banks, Bank for International Settlements and the Austrian Financial Crisis of 1931

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Abstract

In this article, I discuss the role of the three Scandinavian central banks in the establishment of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in 1930, and in the international lender of last resort operation towards Austria in 1931. I argue that small central banks were reluctant supporters in the establishment of the BIS and free riders in the Austrian crisis, even though there were marked differences in their attitude to international cooperation. These results run counter to the views of those International Political Economy (IPE) theorists who argue that small states should be in favour of international cooperation. On the other hand, the evidence seems to confirm Kindleberger's hypothesis that small countries were free riding during the international financial crisis of 1931, and that therefore there is a need for some coordinating mechanism, or a hegemon, in such crises.
In this article, I discuss the role of the three Scandinavian central banks in the establishment of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in 1930, and in the international lender of last resort operation towards Austria in 1931. I argue that small central banks were reluctant supporters in the establishment of the BIS and free riders in the Austrian crisis, even though there were marked differences in their attitude to international cooperation. These results run counter to the views of those International Political Economy (IPE) theorists who argue that small states should be in favour of international cooperation. On the other hand, the evidence seems to confirm Kindleberger's hypothesis that small countries were free riding during the international financial crisis of 1931, and that therefore there is a need for some coordinating mechanism, or a hegemon, in such crises.
LanguageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of History
Volume37
Issue number1
Pages87-107
ISSN0346-8755
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

    Cite this

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    abstract = "In this article, I discuss the role of the three Scandinavian central banks in the establishment of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in 1930, and in the international lender of last resort operation towards Austria in 1931. I argue that small central banks were reluctant supporters in the establishment of the BIS and free riders in the Austrian crisis, even though there were marked differences in their attitude to international cooperation. These results run counter to the views of those International Political Economy (IPE) theorists who argue that small states should be in favour of international cooperation. On the other hand, the evidence seems to confirm Kindleberger's hypothesis that small countries were free riding during the international financial crisis of 1931, and that therefore there is a need for some coordinating mechanism, or a hegemon, in such crises.",
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    author = "Hansen, {Per H.}",
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    Cooperate or Free Ride? The Scandinavian Central Banks, Bank for International Settlements and the Austrian Financial Crisis of 1931. / Hansen, Per H.

    In: Scandinavian Journal of History, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2012, p. 87-107.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    AB - In this article, I discuss the role of the three Scandinavian central banks in the establishment of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in 1930, and in the international lender of last resort operation towards Austria in 1931. I argue that small central banks were reluctant supporters in the establishment of the BIS and free riders in the Austrian crisis, even though there were marked differences in their attitude to international cooperation. These results run counter to the views of those International Political Economy (IPE) theorists who argue that small states should be in favour of international cooperation. On the other hand, the evidence seems to confirm Kindleberger's hypothesis that small countries were free riding during the international financial crisis of 1931, and that therefore there is a need for some coordinating mechanism, or a hegemon, in such crises.

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