Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Implications of the Great Depression for the Development of the International Monetary System

In: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century

Contents:

Author Info

  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Barry Eichengreen

Abstract

In this paper we speculate about the evolution of the international monetary system in the last two-thirds of the twentieth century absent the Great Depression, but present the major post-Depression political and economic upheavals: World War II and the Cold War. We argue that without the Depression the gold-exchange standard of the 1920s would have persisted until the outbreak of World War II. It would have been suspended during the war and for a period of post-war reconstruction before being restored in the first-half of the 1950s. The Bretton Woods Conference would not have taken place, nor would a Bretton Woods System of pegged-but-adjustable exchange rates and restrictions on capital account convertibility have been established. Instead, an unreformed gold-exchange standard of pegged exchange rates and unlimited international capital mobility would have been restored after World War II. But this gold-exchange standard would have collapsed even earlier than was actually the case of Bretton Woods. The move towards floating exchange rates that followed would have taken place well before 1971 in our counterfactual. We construct a model of the international monetary system from 1928–71 and simulate its implications for the determination of the world price level and the durability of the hypothetical gold-exchange standard. We then examine, based on regressions for a 61-country panel, the implications for economic growth and resource allocation of allowing 1920s-style international capital mobility after World War II. Based on the implications of our model simulations and the capital controls regressions we contemplate the implications for institution building and international cooperation of the ‘no Great Depression’ scenario.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6901.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

as in new window

This chapter was published in:

  • Michael D. Bordo & Claudia Goldin & Eugene N. White, 1998. "The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord98-1, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 6901.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6901

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Other versions of this item:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Ben S. Bernanke, 1994. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," NBER Working Papers 4814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kathryn M. Dominguez, 1992. "The Role of International Organizations in the Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 3951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kenen,Peter B. & Papadia,Francesco & Saccomanni,Fabrizio (ed.), 1994. "The International Monetary System," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521467292.
    4. Michael D. Bordo, 1992. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: An Historical Overview," NBER Working Papers 4033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1982. "Can We Sterilize? Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 45-50, May.
    6. Alesina, Alberto F & Grilli, Vittorio & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1993. "The Political Economy of Capital Controls," CEPR Discussion Papers 793, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Michael D. Bordo & Dominique Simard & Eugene White, 1994. "France and the Bretton Woods International Monetary System: 1960-1968," NBER Working Papers 4642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Getting Interventions Right: How South Korea and Taiwan Grew Rich," NBER Working Papers 4964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Polak, J.J., 1991. "The Changing Nature of IMF Conditionality," Princeton Studies in International Economics 184, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
    10. Michael D. Bordo & Ehsan U. Choudhri & Anna J. Schwartz, 1993. "Could Stable Money Have Averted The Great Contraction?," NBER Working Papers 4481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Vittorio Grilli & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 1995. "Economic Effects and Structural Determinants of Capital Controls," IMF Working Papers 95/31, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    13. Kouri, Pentti J K & Porter, Michael G, 1974. "International Capital Flows and Portfolio Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 443-67, May/June.
    14. Allan H. Meltzer, 1991. "U.S. policy in the Bretton Woods era," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 54-83.
    15. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Why is there Multilateral Lending?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1207, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Choudhri, Ehsan U & Kochin, Levis A, 1980. "The Exchange Rate and the International Transmission of Business Cycle Disturbances: Some Evidence from the Great Depression," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 565-74, November.
    17. Jacques J. Polak, 1991. "The Changing Nature of IMF Conditionality," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 41, OECD Publishing.
    18. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
    19. Eichengreen, Barry, 1995. "Central bank co-operation and exchange rate commitments: the classical and interwar gold standards compared," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 99-117, October.
    20. Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "International Monetary Arrangements for the 21st Century," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-021, University of California at Berkeley.
    21. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, December.
    22. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
    23. repec:cup:jechis:v:44:y:1984:i:02:p:489-498_03 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Bordo, Michael David & Ellson, Richard Wayne, 1985. "A model of the classical gold standard with depletion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 109-120, July.
    25. Bordo Michael D. & Kydland Finn E., 1995. "The Gold Standard As a Rule: An Essay in Exploration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 423-464, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. James M. Boughton, 2004. "The IMF and the force of History," IMF Working Papers 04/75, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Barry Eichengreen & David Leblang, 2003. "Capital Account Liberalization and Growth: Was Mr. Mahathir Right?," NBER Working Papers 9427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bordo, Michael D., 2012. "Could the United States have had a better central bank? An historical counterfactual speculation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 597-607.
    4. Cohen, Joseph N & Linton, April, 2010. "The historical relationship between inflation and political rebellion, and what it might teach us about neoliberalism," MPRA Paper 22522, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Arteta, Carlos & Eichengreen, Barry & Wyplosz, Charles, 2001. "When Does Capital Account Liberalization Help More Than it Hurts?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Barry Eichengreen., 1998. "International Economic Policy in the Wake of the Asian Crisis," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-102, University of California at Berkeley.
    7. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen, 1998. "The Rise and Fall of a Barbarous Relic: The Role of Gold in the International Monetary SYstem," NBER Working Papers 6436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Barry Eichengreen, 2010. "Global Imbalances and the Lessons of Bretton Woods," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262514141, December.
    9. Michael D. Bordo & Marc Flandreau, 2003. "Core, Periphery, Exchange Rate Regimes, and Globalization," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 417-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bordo, Michael D. & Choudhri, Ehsan U. & Schwartz, Anna J., 2002. "Was Expansionary Monetary Policy Feasible during the Great Contraction? An Examination of the Gold Standard Constraint," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-28, January.
    11. Jonathan David Ostry & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2005. "Strengthening IMF Crisis Prevention," IMF Working Papers 05/206, International Monetary Fund.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6901. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.