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Could Stable Money Have Averted the Great Contraction?

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  • Bordo, Michael D
  • Choudhri, Ehsan U
  • Schwartz, Anna J

Abstract

The authors test the hypothesis that the Great Contraction would have been attenuated had the Federal Reserve not allowed the money stock to decline. They simulate a model that estimates separate relations for output and the price level and assumes that output and price dynamics are not especially sensitive to policy changes. The simulations include a strong and a weak form of Milton Friedman's constant money growth rule. The results support the hypothesis that the Great Contraction would have been mitigated and shortened had the Federal Reserve followed a constant money growth rule. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 33 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 484-505

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:33:y:1995:i:3:p:484-505

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  1. Ben Bernanke & Frederic Mishkin, 1992. "Central Bank Behavior and the Strategy of Monetary Policy: Observations from Six Industrialized Countries," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 183-238 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
  3. David C. Wheelock, 1992. "Monetary policy in the Great Depression: what the Fed did and why," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 3-28.
  4. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Georgios Karras, 1992. "Sources of Output Fluctuations During the Interwar Period: Further Evidence on the Causes of the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 4049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hafer, R W & Jansen, Dennis W, 1991. "The Demand for Money in the United States: Evidence from Cointegration Tests," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 155-68, May.
  6. Bennett T. McCallum, 1993. "Unit roots in macroeconomic time series: some critical issues," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 13-44.
  7. Milton Friedman & Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1970. "Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie70-1.
  8. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-76, June.
  9. Christina D. Romer, 1991. "What Ended the Great Depression?," NBER Working Papers 3829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Boughton, James M & Wicker, Elmus R, 1979. "The Behavior of the Currency-Deposit Ratio during the Great Depression," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(4), pages 405-18, November.
  11. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1990. "Financial Fragility and Economic Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 87-114, February.
  12. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Christiano, Lawrence & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2004. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Working Paper Series 0326, European Central Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. Douglas A. Irwin, 2011. "Gold Sterilization and the Recession of 1937-38," NBER Working Papers 17595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Karras, Georgios & Lee, Jin Man & Stokes, Houston, 2006. "Why are postwar cycles smoother? Impulses or propagation?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(5-6), pages 392-406.
  5. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 551-72, June.
  6. Michael D. Bordo & Hugh Rockoff, 2013. "Not Just the Great Contraction: Friedman and Schwartz’s A Monetary History of the United States 1867 to 1960," NBER Working Papers 18828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert Rasche, 1995. "Pitfalls in counterfactual analyses of policy rules," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 199-202, July.
  8. Galo Nuño & Pedro Tedde & Alessio Moro, 2011. "Money dynamics with multiple banks of issue: evidence from Spain 1856-1874," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1119, Banco de Espa�a.
  9. Bordo, Michael D & Eichengreen, Barry, 1997. "Implications of the Great Depression for the Development of the International Monetary System," CEPR Discussion Papers 1680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Michael Bordo, 2000. "Sound Money and Sound Financial Policy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 129-155, December.
  11. Rockoff, Hugh & White, Eugene N., 2012. "Monetary Regimes and Policy on a Global Scale: The Oeuvre of Michael D. Bordo," MPRA Paper 49672, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2013.

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