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Did International Economic Forces Cause the Great Depression?

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  • Eichengreen, Barry

Abstract

This paper reviews and assesses international explanations for the depth and duration of the Great Depression. Many of the conclusions are negative. The U.S. Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 came too late to account for the 1929 downturn and fails to explain the severity of the contraction in the U.S. The competitive devaluations of the 1930s redistributed the Depression's effects across countries but did not worsen it overall. The deflationary consequences of the liquidation of foreign exchange reserves were minor. Domestic central bank policies and their failure to be coordinated internationally must bear the major responsibility for the Depression. Copyright 1988 Western Economic Association International.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt27p2v5zm.

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Date of creation: 11 Sep 1987
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt27p2v5zm

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Keywords: Great Depression; Social and Behavioral Sciences;

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Cited by:
  1. Gabriel P. Mathy, 2014. "Uncertainty Shocks and Equity Return Jumps and Volatility During the Great Depression," Working Papers 2014-02, American University, Department of Economics.
  2. Barry Eichengreen, 1991. "International Monetary Instability Between the Wars: Structural Flaws or Misguided Policies?," NBER Working Papers 3124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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