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Investigating a Debt Channel for the Smoot-Hawley Tariffs: Evidence from the Sovereign Bond Market

Kevin Carey ()

The Journal of Economic History, 1999, vol. 59, issue 3, 748-761

Abstract: I examine the change in prices of foreign sovereign dollar bonds over several weeks in 1930 that marked major legislative progress for the Smoot-Hawley tariffs. If the market was preoccupied by anticipated debt-repayment problems arising from the tariffs, this should be visible in the cross-countty pattern of bond prices. The bond price data are compared to indicators of country sensitivity to the tariffs and debt service. A significant relationship is found for bond price changes in June 1930, but the size of the effect is very small. Analysis at the regional and individual country level reveals some puzzling cases.

Date: 1999
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