is owned and operated by the Economic History Association
with the support of other sponsoring organizations.

Global Finance

The Global Finance database

The Global Finance database is the basis of Olivier Accominotti, Marc Flandreau, and Riad Rezzik’s “The Spread of Empire: Clio and the Measurement of Colonial Borrowing Costs”, forthcoming (2010) in The Economic History Review. The database is an extension of the one published in Marc Flandreau and Frédéric Zumer’s The Making of Global Finance (Flandreau and Zumer, 2004) to which 15 colonies of the British Empire and one sovereign nation (the US) have been added. The Making of Global Finance can be read online by clicking here.

The Global Finance database includes 18 sovereign countries: Argentina (ARGE), Austria- Hungary (AH), Belgium (BELG), Brazil (BRAZ), Denmark (DENM), France (FRAN), Germany (GERM), Greece (GREE), Italy (ITAL), Netherlands (NETH), Norway (NORW), Portugal (PORT), Russia (RUSS), Spain (SPAI), Sweden (SWED), Switzerland (SWIT), the United Kingdom (UNIK) and the United States (USA). Most of the data for sovereign countries come from Flandreau and Zumer (2004). However, this newly posted version incorporates updates and minor corrections compared to the tables published in Flandreau and Zumer (2004) and should be preferred. Several series (Interest service on public debt, Government revenue, Budget Deficit, Nominal public debt, Nominal exports, Population,Yields on government bonds, Exchange rates) have also been completed with data for the United States. Full details on the sources used for sovereign countries can be found in Flandreau and Zumer, 2004, The Making of Global Finance, Paris: OECD Development Centre.

The Global Finance database also provides data for 15 colonies of the British Empire: Canada (CAN), Cape Colony (CAP), Ceylon (CEY), Egypt (EGY), India (IND), Jamaica (JAM);Mauritius (MAU), Natal (NAT), New South Wales (NSW), New Zealand (NZL), Queensland (QUE), South Australia (SAU), Tasmania (TAS); Victoria (VIC), Western Australia (WAU).  For the sources used in adding to the Flandreau-Zumer database, see Accominotti, Flandreau and Rezzik (2010).

To download the Accominotti, Flandreau, and Rezzik (2010) database, please click here.

The original (and updated) Making of Global Finance series can be accessed through the links provided below.


Interest Service Total coupon payment on foreign debt
Virtual Service Unpaid part of foreign service (defaulting nations)
Share in Gold Share of foreign debt serviced in gold or gold currency (%)
Government revenue
German government revenue
Public Debts Nominal debt
German Debts
Share of Customs Share of custom revenue in government revenue (%)
Reserves Central bank reserves
Circulation Notes circulation
Nominal GDP
Prices Base: 100 = 1913
Yields Yield on government gold bonds
Short term rates Central bank rates
Exchange Rates Annual average number of francs for one foreign unit
Exchange rate volatility Vulnerability index (average cumulated depreciation)
Years on gold
Suffrage Fraction of population with right to vote
 Send comments and questions to