Going Dutch: monetary policy in the Netherlands during the interwar gold standard, 1925–1936

Philip T. Fliers, Christopher L. Colvin*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Our study of the day-to-day management of monetary policy in the Netherlands between 1925 and 1936 reveals that policy leaders and central bankers were both willing and able to deviate from the monetary policy paths set by other countries, all while remaining firmly within the gold bloc. The Netherlands wielded an independent monetary policy while remaining on gold thanks to its central bank’s plentiful gold reserves. Central bankers quelled any speculation against the guilder by exploiting their domestic policy influence and international reputation to restrict capital mobility. However, maintaining pre-war parity until the collapse of the gold standard in September 1936 came at a cost. Our international comparisons and counterfactual analysis suggest that Dutch officials would have avoided a deepening the Great Depression by leaving gold alongside the UK in 1931.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-151
JournalFinancial History Review
Issue number2
Early online date05 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2022


  • fixed exchange rates
  • policy trilemma
  • monetary policy management
  • independent monetary policy
  • capital controls
  • interwar gold standard
  • the Netherlands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Finance


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