Exchange Control in Italy and Bulgaria in the Interwar Period: History and Perspectives

Nikolay Nenovsky
Bulgarian National Bank, University of Orléans, ICER
Giovanni Pavanelli
Department of Economics “G. Prato”, University of Torino
Kalina Dimitrova
Bulgarian National Bank, Sveti Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, ICER

Abstract: This paper analyses exchange rate control measures adopted in Italy and Bulgaria during the interwar period. The first two sections provide a detailed account of the institutional and economic framework in which these measures were enforced and interpret them utilizing statistical data. In the third section it suggests a theoretical interpretation of exchange control and clearing agreements stressing that these policies were a serious interference in market mechanisms.

A further point is that exchange control introduced and practiced in Italy and Bulgaria was an eloquent example of how serious the balance of payments constraint was at that time and how difficult it was to circumvent it. In the last section it derives some lessons for today’s Italian and Bulgarian economies.