Most European countries are rather small, yet we kw little about their monetary history. This book analyses for the first time the experience of seven small states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland) during the last hundred years, starting with the restoration of the gold standard after World War I and ending with Sweden's rejection of the Euro in 2003. The comparative analysis shows that for the most part of the twentieth century the options of policy makers were seriously constrained by a distinct fear of floating exchange rates. Only with the crisis of the European Monetary System (EMS) in 1992-3 did the idea that a flexible exchange rate regime was suited for a small open ecomy gain currency. The book also analyses the differences among small states and concludes that ecomic structures or foreign policy orientations were far more important for the timing of regime changes than domestic institutions and policies.
Tobias Straumann is Lecturer in the History Department of the University of Zurich. He studied at the Universities of Bielefeld and Zurich and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. After a career in economic journalism, he was a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley and lecturer at the University of Lausanne. Dr Straumann has worked in the fields of Swiss economic history and European financial and monetary history. He has published articles in the Journal of Contemporary History, the European Review of Economic History, and the Historische Zeitschrift.