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Relaxing the External Constraint: Europe in the 1930s

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  • Barry Eichengreen

Abstract

This paper documents the effects of exchange rates and the external constraint during the interwar years. In the absence of international policy coordination, exchange rate depreciation is shown to have been a necessary precondition for the adoption of policies promoting recovery from the Great Depression. But currency depreciation was not without costs. It increased the variability of nominal exchange rates and rendered them increasingly difficult to predict. Increased variability and uncertainty about nominal exchange rates carried over to short-term changes in real exchange rates as well. Thus, exchange rate variability appears to have introduced additional noise into the operation of the price mechanism.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3410.

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Date of creation: Aug 1990
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Publication status: published as George Alogosfousis, Lucas Papademos and Richard Portes, eds., External Constrints on Macroeconomic Performance. Cambridge, 1991.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3410

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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1988. "Obstacles to International Macroeconomic Policy Coordination," NBER Working Papers 2505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eichengreen, Barry, 1989. "The Comparative Performance of Fixed Flexible Exchange Rate Regimes: Interwar Evidence," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt2kn4z93w, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Non-Monetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in the Propagation of the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 1054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kamin, S.B., 1988. "Devaluation, External Balance, And Macroeconomic Performance: A Look At The Numbers," Princeton Studies in International Economics, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University, 62, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  5. Eichengreen, Barry, 1989. "The Comparative Performance of Fixed and Flexible Exchange Rate Regimes: Interwar Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. James D. Hamilton, 1988. "Role Of The International Gold Standard In Propagating The Great Depression," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 6(2), pages 67-89, 04.
  7. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, December.
  8. Donal J. Donovan, 1981. "Real Responses Associated with Exchange Rate Action in Selected Upper Credit Tranche Stabilization Programs (Résultats liés à une modification du taux de change dans le cadre de programmes de s," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(4), pages 698-727, December.
  9. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
  10. Ben Bernanke & Harold James, 1990. "The Gold Standard, Deflation, and Financial Crisis in the Great Depression: An International Comparison," NBER Working Papers 3488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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