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Krieg und Finanzmarkt. Eine ökonomische Analyse der Bedrohungslage der Schweiz im 2. Weltkrieg

Marcel Kucher and Bruno Frey ()

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), 1998, vol. 134, issue IV, 471-497

Abstract: Historical events are reflected in asset prices. In this paper we therefore analyze the prices of Swiss government bonds traded during WWII. The econometric analysis reveals that some events that are generally considered crucial for the military threat Switzerland faced, are clearly reflected in government bond prices. This holds, in particular, for events that occured before the official outbreak of the war. The most prominent examples are the Nazi takeover in Januray 1933 or the introduction of the draft for military service in March 1935. On the other hand, some events to which historians attach great attention are not reflected in bond prices at all: The most prominent example is the German capitulation in 1945. The analysis of financial markets is certainly no substitute to the traditional inquiries undertaken by historians. But it is a challenging complementaiy method to evaluate particular sentiments existing at a given moment of time.

Date: 1998
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