The Validity of International Gold Movement Statistics

The Validity of International Gold Movement Statistics

The Validity of International Gold Movement Statistics

The Validity of International Gold Movement Statistics

Excerpt

It is the purpose of this paper to examine the statistics of international gold movements for their reliability and usefulness. An investigation of this kind is justified for the light it may shed on the problem of analysis of economic data in general, and, specifically, because gold movements are of great importance in the study of international trade, especially the behavior of exchange rates and capital movements. Gold movements are of particular significance for our understanding of the period of the gold standard, but they are also important under other monetary systems. Their accuracy, it should be noted, is probably one of the least questionable of all the components of balance of payments statistics, certainly not to be compared with such items as security movements, the pure estimates of tourists' expenditures, and immigrants' remittances. It is of singular importance to form a good idea of the worth of one of the most trustworthy components. In the absence of fortuitously offsetting errors, the aggregate, formed of parts of widely diverse quality, cannot be better than the best part--in fact, it will in almost all cases be considerably below that standard.

A study of the statistics of international gold movements is a part of the larger question of the accuracy of economic observations in general and of those of trade in particular. But in the . . .

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