Digital Archive on Currency Boards

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise presents the Digital Archive on Currency Boards, a trove of official documents on the subject. The documents were gathered and indexed by students under the direction of Steve H. Hanke, co-director of the Institute and Professor of Applied Economics, with advice from Kurt Schuler, Senior Fellow in Financial History at the Center for Financial Stability in New York. Nicholas Krus, a research associate at the Institute, made the largest contribution to the effort.

In the study of money, official documents are a key source of statistics and narrative facts. The Internet has led most of the world's central banks and other monetary authorities to post their annual reports and other major documents online. Pre-Internet material is harder to find, especially if the monetary authority in question no longer exists. The Digital Archive on Currency Boards is the largest collection of annual reports and other official documents about any type of monetary system. It will offer documents spanning more than a century for more than 60 countries. Documents are being posted in batches as time permits, and further documents will be posted as they are found and cataloged. Documents are in the public domain according to the copyright law of their country of publication, or have been permitted by the copyright holders to be posted.

The Institute also issues a working paper series on currency boards. Most of the working papers are by students at The Johns Hopkins University and some draw on material in the Digital Archive. One recently released paper, by Rahee Jung and Demilade Obayomi, is a guide to the Digital Archive. Another, by Seung Jae Oh, examines high-frequency data from currency boards that formerly existed in Palestine, the Straits Settlements, and West Africa. Oh's paper includes spreadsheets that make the data he gathered available for other researchers in electronic form for the first time. Future working papers will eventually make available in spreadsheet form extensive annual and high-frequency balance sheet data on most of the currency boards that have ever existed. It will be the most comprehensive collection of balance sheet data on any type of monetary system.

The Digital Archive and the working papers will be of interest to anyone interested in monetary history or monetary policy.

Digital Archive