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Using financial markets to analyze history: the case of the second World War


Frey, Bruno S; Waldenström, Daniel (2007). Using financial markets to analyze history: the case of the second World War. Historical Social Research, 32(4):330-350.

Abstract

A central aspect of historical research is to provide explanations for the causes and effects of events that occurred in the past, in particular the Second World War. History can be analyzed and explained from different perspectives. Two such perspectives are considered, the first being the traditional historiographic approach, in which the main emphasis is on the qualitative analysis of various kinds of historical sources and documents, and the second being what we call the financial market approach, a recent methodology for linking significant changes in historical market prices to simultaneously occurring geopolitical events. The fundamental characteristics of the two approaches are identified and compared in answering some important historical questions concerning the Second World War. The financial market approach, as reflected in the secondary market for government bonds, is studied for various countries. Both approaches rely heavily on interpretation – but in different ways. They complement each other in a useful way.

A central aspect of historical research is to provide explanations for the causes and effects of events that occurred in the past, in particular the Second World War. History can be analyzed and explained from different perspectives. Two such perspectives are considered, the first being the traditional historiographic approach, in which the main emphasis is on the qualitative analysis of various kinds of historical sources and documents, and the second being what we call the financial market approach, a recent methodology for linking significant changes in historical market prices to simultaneously occurring geopolitical events. The fundamental characteristics of the two approaches are identified and compared in answering some important historical questions concerning the Second World War. The financial market approach, as reflected in the secondary market for government bonds, is studied for various countries. Both approaches rely heavily on interpretation – but in different ways. They complement each other in a useful way.

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2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Other titles:Vom Nutzen der Analyse von Finanzmärkten für die Geschichtswissenschaft. Eine Untersuchung anhand des 2. Weltkrieges
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:09 Jun 2008 15:10
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Publisher:Zentrum für Historische Sozialforschung
ISSN:0172-6404
Official URL:http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=sih&AN=27763827&loginpage=Login.asp&site=ehost-live
Related URLs:http://www.hsr-retro.de/
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2537

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