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The Meaning of Money in the Great Depression

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  • Hugh Rockoff

Abstract

The quality of the money stock declined during the banking crises of the early 1930s. Bank deposits did not serve as a secure short- term store of purchasing power for use in an emergency as well as they had previously, and during the periods of restricted deposits in late 1932 and early 1933, bank deposits could not fulfill their basic function of being a medium of exchange. This paper presents some evidence to show that the decline in the quality of the money stock contributed to the severity of the contraction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Historical Working Papers with number 0052.

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Date of creation: Dec 1993
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0052

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  1. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1989. "The Case of the Negative Nominal Interest Rates: New Estimates of the Term Structure of Interest Rates During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 2472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Grossman Richard S., 1993. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Bank Failures under the National Banking System," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 294-320, July.
  4. Hugh Rockoff, 2000. "Henry Calvert Simons and the Quantity Theory of Money," Departmental Working Papers 200003, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  5. Ben Bemanke & Harold James, 1991. "The Gold Standard, Deflation, and Financial Crisis in the Great Depression: An International Comparison," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets and Financial Crises, pages 33-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Haubrich, Joseph G., 1990. "Nonmonetary effects of financial crises : Lessons from the great depression in Canada," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 223-252, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Merrouche, Ouarda & Nier, Erlend, 2012. "Payment systems, inside money and financial intermediation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 359-382.
  2. Adam B. Ashcraft, 2005. "Are Banks Really Special? New Evidence from the FDIC-Induced Failure of Healthy Banks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1712-1730, December.
  3. Charles W. Calomiris & Joseph R. Mason, 2003. "Consequences of Bank Distress During the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 937-947, June.
  4. Mark A. Carlson & Jonathan D. Rose, 2011. "Credit availability and the collapse of the banking sector in the 1930s," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-38, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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