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Great Expectations and the End of the Depression

  • Gauti B. Eggertsson

This paper suggests that the US recovery from the Great Depression was driven by a shift in expectations. This shift was caused by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's policy actions. On the monetary policy side, Roosevelt abolished the gold standard and -- even more importantly -- announced the explicit objective of inflating the price level to pre-Depression levels. On the fiscal policy side, Roosevelt expanded real and deficit spending, which made his policy objective credible. These actions violated prevailing policy dogmas and initiated a policy regime change as in Sargent (1983) and Temin and Wigmore (1990). The economic consequences of Roosevelt are evaluated in a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with nominal frictions. (JEL D84, E52, E62, N12, N42)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1476-1516

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:4:p:1476-1516
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.4.1476
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