The Historical Financial Statistics Project is a joint endeavor between IAEGHSBE and the Center for Financial Stability – a leading global think tank in New York, dedicated to financial markets. It was founded by Lawrence Goodman, formerly Managing Director and Global Head of Emerging Market Strategy at the Bank of America and Director of the Office of Quanitative Policy Analysis at the U.S. Treasury Department.

The Historical Financial Statistics Project is designed to bring long-term perspective to current financial research, policy, and practice. The financial data that are being compiled and digitized by Dr. Kurt Schuler from the Center, and Prof. Hanke and Nicholas Krus from the Institute, covers over 40 countries and include data from the 10th century to the present, although its focus is on the 1492-1950 period, which few other databases cover. Included in the data are exchange rates, money, banking, interest rates, prices, employment, the balance of payments, government finance, and GDP (

This one-of-a-kind project is being spearheaded by Dr. Kurt Schuler. Dr. Schuler was an Institute Fellow (1991-96) and co-author of over 20 books and monographs with Prof. Hanke. Their most recent book, A Blueprint for a Safe, Sound Georgian Lari was published in 2010. Dr. Schuler is an economist in the Office of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in Financial History at the Center for Financial Stability.

Prof. Hanke and a team of Hopkins undergraduates are collaborating with Dr. Schuler on the Historical Financial Statistics Project. At present, they are working on the first long-run quantitative study of the currency board monetary system. The analysis will draw on a century or more of original balance-sheet data stretching across dozens of countries. No previous study of any monetary system has used such comprehensive data. The original data will eventually be made available for public use on the Center for Financial Stability’s website.

A community of scholars from around the world graciously contributes their time and digitized information to deepening the data offering.  Contributors to date can be found at

Summary of the HFSP’s First-Year Activities

Historical Financial Statistics Marks First Year:
More Than 70 countries, 1 Million Data Points, 50 Researchers

Historical Financial Statistics, a free online data set at the Center for Financial Stability, is completing its first year. During that time it has expanded coverage to more than 70 countries and more than 1 million data points.  Historical Financial Statistics focuses on the period 1492 to 1950, before most other economic databases start, although it includes data as far back as the 10th century (for China) and as recent as this year. Historical Financial Statistics contains data series that are hard or impossible to find elsewhere in spreadsheet form, including:

– Bond yields for more than 50 countries from 1880 to 1944.
– Exchange controls for more than 100 countries from 1950 to 2004.
– Market exchange rates of certain currencies twice a week from 1698 to 1873.
– Gold and silver prices twice a week from 1698 to 1873.

Many exciting new offerings are planned for the coming year.

Historical Financial Statistics documents the sources and other important characteristics of its data. It also offers tools that will be useful to many researchers, such as a list of key dates in financial history and a conversion spreadsheet for ten major calendars.

Historical Financial Statistics includes data gathered by official sources and by more than 50 researchers from around the world, listed below. We welcome data and suggestions from researchers and other readers.

For Historical Financial Statistics:

Kurt Schuler, Editor of Historical Financial Statistics
[email protected]
Contributors to Historical Financial Statistics

Historical Financial Statistics has used data or received helpful advice from the following researchers. Affiliations are those that existed when the data were posted.

– Multiple countries: Carlos Bastien (Gabinete de História Económica e Social, Lisbon); Marie-Thérèse Boyer-Xambeu (Laboratoire d’économie dionysien, University of Paris VIII); José Luis Cordeiro (Singularity University); Sandra Domingos Costa (Gabinete de História Económica e Social, Lisbon); Ghislain Deleplace (Laboratoire d’économie dionysien, University of Paris VIII); Niall Ferguson (Harvard University); Marc Flandreau (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva); Lucien Gillard (University of Paris I — Panthéon-Sorbonne); Nicholas Krus (Johns Hopkins University); Ana Bela Nunes (Gabinete de História Económica e Social, Lisbon); Rita Martins de Sousa (Gabinete de História Económica e Social, Lisbon); Larry Neal (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Dennis Quinn (Georgetown University); Moritz Schularick (Free University of Berlin); Palmira Tjipilica (Catholic University of Angola); A. Maria Toyoda (Villanova University); Marc Weidenmeir
(Claremont McKenna College); Frédéric Zumer (University of Paris II — Panthéon-Assas)

– Austria: John Komlos (Ludwig-Maximilians University); Thomas Scheiber (Austrian National Bank)

– Brazil: Eustáquio Reis

– Bulgaria: Kalina Dimitrova (Bulgarian National Bank); Martin Ivanov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

– Canada: Cherie Metcalf (Queen’s University); Gilles Paquet (University of Ottawa); Angela Redish (University of British Columbia); Ronald A. Shearer (University of British Columbia); Jean-Pierre Wallot (formerly Archives Canada)

– Chile: José Díaz (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile); Rolf Lüders (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile); Gert Wagner (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile)

– China: Richard von Glahn (University of California-Los Angeles)

– Cuba: Inés Roldán de Montaud (Instituto de Historia, Madrid)

– Denmark: Kim Abildgren (Danmarks Nationalbank)

– Greece: Sophia Lazaretou (Bank of Greece)

– Indonesia: Pierre van der Eng (Australian National University)

– Ireland: Kevin H. O’Rourke (Trinity College Dublin)

– Italy: Michele Fratianni (Indiana University); Franco Spinelli (University of Brescia)

– Norway: Jan Tore Klovland (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

– Portugal: Rui Esteves (Oxford University); Fabiano Ferramosca (University of Porto); Jaime Reis (University of Lisbon)

– Romania: Adriana Aloman (National Bank of Romania); Elisabeta Blejan (National Bank of Romania); BrînduÅŸa Costache (National Bank of Romania); George Virgil Stoenescu (National Bank of Romania)

– Serbia: Sanja Borković (National Bank of Serbia); Ljiljana Ä urÄ‘ević (National Bank of Serbia); Olivera Jovanović (National Bank of Serbia); Milan Šojić (National Bank of Serbia)

– Spain: Pablo Martín-Aceña (University of Alcalá); María Ángeles Pons Brias (University of València)

– Sweden: Håkan Lobell (Lund University)

– Turkey (and Ottoman Empire): Sevket Pamuk (Bogaziçi University)

– United States (including Confederate States of America): William Craighead (Wesleyan University); William Bomberger (University of Florida); Gail Makinen (Georgetown University)