IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ejw/journl/v8y2011i1p1-12.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Unfortunately Unfamiliar with Robert Higgs and Others: A Rejoinder to Gauti Eggertsson on the 1930s

Author

Listed:
  • Steven Horwitz

Abstract

In this rejoinder, I address five issues raised by Eggertsson’s reply to my commentary. First, I argue that the pre-Depression gold standard, though not ideal, was not a barrier to a desirable reflation. I then offer an account of the 1937-38 recession that views it as a continuation of the Roosevelt regime in a way that contradicts Eggertsson’s attempt to cleave it from the expectations-enhancing regime change he focused on. I also respond to his invoking the “conventional wisdom†regarding Hoover and Roosevelt by offering additional evidence that said wisdom is faulty. Fourth, I respond to his admission of ignorance of Robert Higgs’s work by recapping and adding to the evidence for regime uncertainty’s role in extending the Great Depression (evidence notably about private investment and about private-sector hours worked). I critically assess the role investment played in Eggertsson’s original AER article by noting his failure to distinguish government and private investment, as it was the latter that Higgs demonstrates was affected by regime uncertainty and whose weakness constituted the failed recovery. Finally, I note that if narrow methodological strictures blind us to the evidence provided by narrative history, we will fail to understand that history at our own peril, as the growing parallels between the Great Recession and the Great Depression demonstrate.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Horwitz, 2011. "Unfortunately Unfamiliar with Robert Higgs and Others: A Rejoinder to Gauti Eggertsson on the 1930s," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 8(1), pages 1-12, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:8:y:2011:i:1:p:1-12
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econjwatch.org/file_download/475/HorwitzJanuary2011.pdf?mimetype=pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://econjwatch.org/702
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2008. "Great Expectations and the End of the Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1476-1516, September.
    2. Bordo, Michael D. & Choudhri, Ehsan U. & Schwartz, Anna J., 2002. "Was Expansionary Monetary Policy Feasible during the Great Contraction? An Examination of the Gold Standard Constraint," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-28, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    depression; economic history; laissez-faire; public policy; Hoover; Roosevelt; Robert Higgs;

    JEL classification:

    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

    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:ejw:journl:v:8:y:2011:i:1:p:1-12. 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: (Jason Briggeman). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/edgmuus.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.