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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. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 335, University of Zurich.

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, isnstudied for various countries. Both approaches rely heavily on interpretation – but inndifferent ways. They complement each other in a useful way.

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, isnstudied for various countries. Both approaches rely heavily on interpretation – but inndifferent ways. They complement each other in a useful way.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:October 2007
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 13:04
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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