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Not Guilty? Agriculture in the 1920s and the Great Depression

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  • FEDERICO, GIOVANNI

Abstract

Agricultural distress in the 1920s is routinely quoted among the causes of the Great Depression. This article challenges the conventional wisdom. World agriculture was not plagued by overproduction and falling terms of trade. The indebtedness of American farmers, a legacy of the boom years 1918 1921, did jeopardize the rural banks, but the relation between their crises, the banking panic of 1930, and the Great Depression is tenuous at best.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 65 (2005)
Issue (Month): 04 (December)
Pages: 949-976

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:65:y:2005:i:04:p:949-976_00

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  1. Christopher J. Erceg & Michael D. Bordo & Charles L. Evans, 2000. "Money, Sticky Wages, and the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1447-1463, December.
  2. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  3. Holt, Charles F., 1977. "Who benefited from the prosperity of the twenties?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 277-289, July.
  4. Nathan S. Balke & Robert J. Gordon, 1988. "The Estimation of Prewar GNP: Methodology and New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Grilli, Enzo R & Yang, Maw Cheng, 1988. "Primary Commodity Prices, Manufactured Goods Prices, and the Terms of Trade of Developing Countries: What the Long Run Shows," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(1), pages 1-47, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Wolf, Nikolaus, 2008. "Scylla and Charybdis. Explaining Europe's exit from gold, January 1928-December 1936," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 383-401, September.
  2. Richard S. Grossman & Christopher M. Meissner, 2010. "International Aspects of the Great Depression and the Crisis of 2007: Similarities, Differences, and Lessons," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2010-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2010.
  3. Apostolides, Alexander, 2012. "Small debt, large problems in Cyprus: How even small debt in a British Colony led to the political crisis and violence in October 1931," MPRA Paper 43210, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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