Price-specie flow mechanism

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Price-specie flow mechanism

Adjustment mechanism under the classic gold standard allowing disturbances in the price level in one country to be wholly or partly offset by a countervailing flow of specie (gold coins) that would act to equalize prices across countries and automatically bring international payments into balance.

Price-Specie Flow Mechanism

An argument David Hume made against those who argued that a favorable balance of trade is always good public policy. The price-specie flow mechanism states that under a gold standard, countries with positive trade balances are effectively importing gold (money) in exchange for their exports while those with negative trade balances are exporting gold in exchange for imports. The increase in gold in countries with positive trade balances causes inflation, which makes prices rise and in turn makes imports more competitive. Conversely, the decrease in gold in countries with negative trade balances causes deflation, which makes price fall and exports more competitive internationally. This cause the balance of trade to shift in both countries. Thus, Hume argued that a trade balance is relatively unimportant because it tends to balance itself out in the long term.