Department Chair

Theodore F. Byrley, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor of Economics & Finance

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Applied Economics, M.A.


Economics and Finance Department


Ted P. Schmidt, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics & Finance

Department Home page

First Reader

Ted P. Schmidt, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics & Finance

Second Reader

William T. Ganley, Ph.D., Professor of Economics & Finance

Third Reader

Joelle J. Leclaire, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics & Finance


The international financial system is all the participating economies of the world acting independently, yet bound together by the need for trade and currency exchange. The international floating exchange rate system has been the international financial system since its inception in 1973. Since the inception of the floating exchange rate system there has been constant criticism and questioning over whether it is the best international financial model for the present and future. The purpose of this thesis is to critically examine the history of the international financial system and determine what kind of international system best meets the need of the globally interdependent world moving forward.

The history of international finance has been characterized by three major international monetary systems. The gold standard, Bretton Woods, and international floating system all have strengths, weaknesses and unique differences that this thesis seeks to analyze. An object of this thesis is to identify how a desirable international monetary system might look and function in the future. This thesis will examine a number of problems that have plagued the international monetary system and how those difficulties might be remedied in the future.