The market for American state government bonds in Britain and the United States, 1830–43

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Abstract

In the 1830s the British and American economies were hit by a series of shared macroeconomic shocks. This paper investigates the role of markets for America's State bonds in Britain and the USA during and between the crises in 1837, 1839, and 1842.There is strong evidence that the crises in 1839 and 1842 originated in the USA and spread to Britain. There is also strong evidence that credit markets for American state bonds were tighter in the USA than in London between 1839 and 1842. The idea that the depression that began in 1839 in the USA was triggered by credit conditions in Britain and transmitted via the market for state credit, finds no support here.

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