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Fetters of Debt, Deposit, or Gold during the Great Depression? The International Propagation of the Banking Crisis of 1931

Author

Listed:
  • Richardson Gary

    (University of California at Irvine, Department of Economics, CA 92607-5100, U.S.A.)

  • Van Horn Patrick

    (The New College of Florida, Department of Social Sciences, Sarasota, U.S.A.)

Abstract

A banking crisis began in Austria in May 1931 and intensified in July, when runs struck banks throughout Germany. In September, the crisis compelled Britain to quit the gold standard. Newly discovered data shows that failure rates rose for banks in New York City, at the center of the United States money market, in July and August 1931, before Britain abandoned the gold standard and before financial outflows compelled the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. Banks in New York City had large exposures to foreign deposits and German debt. This paper tests to see whether the foreign exposure of money center banks linked the financial crises on the two sides of the Atlantic.

Suggested Citation

  • Richardson Gary & Van Horn Patrick, 2011. "Fetters of Debt, Deposit, or Gold during the Great Depression? The International Propagation of the Banking Crisis of 1931," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 52(2), pages 29-54, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jbwige:v:52:y:2011:i:2:p:29-54:n:2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Mark Carlson, 2004. "Are Branch Banks Better Survivors? Evidence from the Depression Era," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(1), pages 111-126, January.
    3. Joseph R. Mason, 1998. "American banks during the Great Depression: a new research agenda," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 151-152.
    4. 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, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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