Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 489: How Government Bond Prices Reflect Wartime Events. The Case of the Stockholm Market.

Daniel Waldenström () and Bruno S. Frey ()
Additional contact information
Daniel Waldenström: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Bruno S. Frey: Institute for Empirical Economic Research, University of Zurch, Postal: Bluemlisalpstr. 10, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract: How are political events reflected in financial asset prices? Break points in sovereign debt prices are analyzed for Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany and Belgium during 1930-1948, using unique data from the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Unlike in countries involved in WWII, this market was unregulated. The outbreak of World War II heavily depressed prices of government bonds. Countries which were occupied (Belgium, Denmark and Norway) or under attack (Finland) saw their debt depreciate substantially. The battle of Stalingrad turns out indeed to be a turning-point of the war. This approach represents a complementary quantitative method to analyze the impact of political events.

Keywords: Financial Markets; Economic History; WWII; Europe; Cliometrics

JEL-codes: F34; G15; N24; N44

24 pages, January 17, 2002

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