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Transmission of the Great Depression


  • Peter Temin


To a first approximation, the question of how the Great Depression spread from country to country is short and straightforward: fixed exchange rates under the gold standard transmitted negative demand shocks. The first half of this paper will describe current thinking about the relationship between the gold standard and the Great Depression. The second half of the paper will look at a phenomenon not included in this first approximation: financial crises. Many have noted that banking panics and currency crises are bad for national economies, but few have tried to model their international spread.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Temin, 1993. "Transmission of the Great Depression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 87-102, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:7:y:1993:i:2:p:87-102 Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.7.2.87

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1986. "Competitive devaluation and the Great Depression : A theoretical reassessment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 67-71.
    2. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133.
    3. Field, Alexander J., 1984. "A New Interpretation of the Onset of the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(02), pages 489-498, June.
    4. Garber, Peter M. & Grilli, Vittorio U., 1989. "Bank runs in open economies and the international transmission of panics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 165-175, August.
    5. Eichengreen, Barry & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1985. "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(04), pages 925-946, December.
    6. Campa, José Manuel, 1990. "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s: An Extension to Lation America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(03), pages 677-682, September.
    7. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
    3. Nina Dodig & Hansjorg Herr, 2014. "Previous financial crises leading to stagnation – selected case studies," Working papers wpaper24, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    4. Mathy, Gabriel P. & Meissner, Christopher M., 2011. "Business cycle co-movement: Evidence from the Great Depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 362-372.
    5. Mervyn Allister King, 1993. "Debt Deflation: Theory and Evidence," FMG Discussion Papers dp175, Financial Markets Group.
    6. James C. MacGee & Pedro S. Amaral, 2010. "A Multi-sectoral Approach to the U.S. Great Depression," 2010 Meeting Papers 1242, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Borio, Claudio & Filardo, Andrew J., 2004. "Looking back at the international deflation record," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 287-311, December.
    8. Accominotti, Olivier, 2016. "International Banking and Transmission of the 1931 Financial Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 11651, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Raphael Hekimian & David Le Bris, 2016. "US Crashes of 2008 and 1929 How did the French market react? An empirical study," EconomiX Working Papers 2016-21, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    10. Mattesini, Fabrizio & Quintieri, Beniamino, 1997. "Italy and the Great Depression: An Analysis of the Italian Economy, 1929-1936," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 265-294, July.
    11. Nicholas Crafts & Peter Fearon, 2010. "Lessons from the 1930s Great Depression," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 285-317, Autumn.
    12. Albers, Thilo & Uebele, Martin, 2015. "The global impact of the great depression," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64491, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Alois Guger, 2012. "Einkommensverteilung als Krisenursache," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 38(2), pages 345-356.
    14. Pierre Villa, 1996. "France in the Early Depression of the Thirties," Working Papers 1996-06, CEPII research center.
    15. repec:clr:wugarc:y:2012:v:38i:2p:345 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. John Eatwell & Lance Taylor, 1998. "The Performance of Liberalized Capital Markets," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 1998-13, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School, revised Sep 1998.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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