IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v103y2013i3p66-72.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Missing Transmission Mechanism in the Monetary Explanation of the Great Depression

Author

Listed:
  • Christina D. Romer
  • David H. Romer

Abstract

This paper examines the missing transmission mechanism in Friedman's and Schwartz's monetary explanation of the Great Depression. We review the challenge provided by the decline in nominal interest rates in the early 1930s, and show that the monetary explanation requires not just that there were expectations of deflation, but that they were caused by monetary contraction. Using a detailed analysis of Business Week magazine, we find evidence that monetary contraction and Federal Reserve policy contributed to expectations of deflation during the downturn. This suggests that monetary shocks may have depressed spending and output in part by raising real interest rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2013. "The Missing Transmission Mechanism in the Monetary Explanation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 66-72, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:66-72
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.66
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.103.3.66
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/may2013/P2013_0728_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martha L. Olney, 1999. "Avoiding Default: The Role of Credit in the Consumption Collapse of 1930," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 319-335.
    2. Christina D. Romer, 1990. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 597-624.
    3. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1.
    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


    Cited by:

    1. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:1:p:19307480 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mathy, Gabriel & Stekler, Herman, 2017. "Expectations and forecasting during the Great Depression: Real-time evidence from the business press," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-15.
    3. Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Michael Weber, 2016. "Unconventional Fiscal Policy, Inflation Expectations, and Consumption Expenditure," CESifo Working Paper Series 5793, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Michael Weber & Daniel Hoang & Francesco D'Acunto, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Consumption Expenditure," 2015 Meeting Papers 1266, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Francesco D’Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Michael Weber, 2017. "The Effect of Unconventional Fiscal Policy on Consumption Expenditure," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(1), pages 09-11, April.
    6. Gabriel Mathy & Herman Stekler, 2018. "Was the deflation of the depression anticipated? An inference using real-time data," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 117-125, April.
    7. Jalil, Andrew J. & Rua, Gisela, 2016. "Inflation expectations and recovery in spring 1933," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 26-50.
    8. Taylor, Jason E. & Neumann, Todd C., 2016. "Recovery Spring, Faltering Fall: March to November 1933," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 54-67.
    9. Binder, Carola Conces, 2016. "Estimation of historical inflation expectations," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-31.
    10. Breitenlechner, Max & Scharler, Johann, 2017. "Decomposing the U.S. Great Depression: How important were Loan Supply Shocks?," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168208, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:66-72. 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: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.