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Crisis? What Crisis? Currency vs. Banking in the Financial Crisis of 1931

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  • Ritschl, Albrecht
  • Sarferaz, Samad

Abstract

This paper examines the role of currency and banking in the German financial crisis of 1931 for both Germany and the U.S. We specify a structural dynamic factor model to identify financial and monetary factors separately for each of the two economies. We find that monetary transmission through the Gold Standard played only a minor role in causing and propagating the crisis, while financial distress was important. We also find evidence of crisis propagation from Germany to the U.S. via the banking channel. Banking distress in both economies was apparently not endogenous to output or monetary policy. Results confirm Bernanke's (1983) conjecture that an independent, non-monetary financial channel of crisis propagation was operative in the Great Depression.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7610.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7610

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Keywords: 1931 financial crisis; banking; Bayesian factor analysis; currency; Great Depression; international business cycle transmission;

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  1. Eichengreen, Barry & Flandreau, Marc, 2008. "The Rise and Fall of the Dollar, or When did the Dollar Replace Sterling as the Leading Reserve Currency?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6869, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ben Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr S. Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422, January.
  3. Otrok, Christopher & Whiteman, Charles H, 1998. "Bayesian Leading Indicators: Measuring and Predicting Economic Conditions in Iowa," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 997-1014, November.
  4. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1998. "Business Cycle Turning Points, A New Coincident Index, And Tests Of Duration Dependence Based On A Dynamic Factor Model With Regime Switching," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 188-201, May.
  5. Uhlig, Harald, 2005. "What are the effects of monetary policy on output? Results from an agnostic identification procedure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 381-419, March.
  6. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2006. "Sudden Stops and Phoenix Miracles in Emerging Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 405-410, May.
  7. Kadiyala, K Rao & Karlsson, Sune, 1997. "Numerical Methods for Estimation and Inference in Bayesian VAR-Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 99-132, March-Apr.
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  9. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1998. "Financial crises in Asia and Latin America: Then and now," MPRA Paper 13877, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Diffusion Indexes," NBER Working Papers 6702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ritschl, Albrecht & Sarferaz, Samad & Uebele, Martin, 2008. "The U.S. Business Cycle, 1867-1995: A Dynamic Factor Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7069, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Bernanke, Ben S & Carey, Kevin, 1996. "Nominal Wage Stickiness and Aggregate Supply in the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 853-83, August.
  13. Schnabel, Isabel, 2004. "The German Twin Crisis of 1931," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(03), pages 822-871, September.
  14. Eickmeier, Sandra, 2004. "Business Cycle Transmission from the US to Germany: a Structural Factor Approach," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,12, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  15. Chib, Siddhartha, 1993. "Bayes regression with autoregressive errors : A Gibbs sampling approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 275-294, August.
  16. Accominotti, Olivier, 2012. "London Merchant Banks, the Central European Panic, and the Sterling Crisis of 1931," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(01), pages 1-43, March.
  17. Christopher Otrok & Charles H. Whiteman, 1996. "Baynesian Leading Indicators: Measuring and Predicting Economic Conditions," Macroeconomics 9610002, EconWPA.
  18. Guillermo A. Calvo & Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "Inflows of Capital to Developing Countries in the 1990s," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 123-139, Spring.
  19. Gary Richardson & Patrick Van Horn, 2008. "Intensified Regulatory Scrutiny and Bank Distress in New York City During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 14120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Luis Araujo & Bernardo Guimaraes, 2010. "There Will Be Money," CEP Discussion Papers dp1004, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Albrecht Ritschl, 2012. "Reparations, deficits, and debt default: the Great Depression in Germany," Economic History Working Papers 44335, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  3. Ralf Martin, 2010. "Productivity spreads, market power spreads and trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48912, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Ralf Martin, 2010. "Productivity Spreads, Market Power Spreads and Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0997, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Accominotti, Olivier, 2012. "London Merchant Banks, the Central European Panic, and the Sterling Crisis of 1931," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(01), pages 1-43, March.

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