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Did Hayek and Robbins Deepen the Great Depression?

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  • LAWRENCE H. WHITE

Abstract

Contrary to some accounts, the Hayek-Robbins ("Austrian") theory of the business cycle did not prescribe a monetary policy of "liquidationism" in the sense of passive indifference to sharp deflation during the early years of the Great Depression. There is no evidence that Hayek or Robbins influenced any "liquidationist" in the Hoover administration or the Federal Reserve System. Federal Reserve policy during the Great Depression was instead influenced by the real bills doctrine, which (despite some apparent similarities) was diametrically opposed in key respects to Hayek's norms for central bank policy. Copyright (c) 2008 The Ohio State University.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence H. White, 2008. "Did Hayek and Robbins Deepen the Great Depression?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 751-768, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:40:y:2008:i:4:p:751-768
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Keynes v. Hayek: Advantage Hawtrey
      by David Glasner in uneasy money on 2011-09-07 10:13:47
    2. El Monetarismo de Mercado y la Segunda Contrarrevolución
      by Adrián Ravier in Punto de Vista Economico on 2011-10-29 19:13:13
    3. El Monetarismo de Mercado y la Segunda Contrarrevolución
      by Adrián Ravier in Punto de Vista Economico on 2011-10-29 19:13:13
    4. Que es la Real Bills Doctrine?
      by Nicolas Cachanosky in Punto de Vista Economico on 2012-08-31 07:02:48

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    Cited by:

    1. Philipp Bagus & David Howden, 2011. "Monetary equilibrium and price stickiness: Causes, consequences and remedies," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 383-402, December.
    2. Anthony Evans & Robert Thorpe, 2013. "The (quantity) theory of money and credit," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 463-481, December.
    3. Bartz, Wiebke & Winkler, Adalbert, 2016. "Flexible or fragile? The growth performance of small and young businesses during the global financial crisis — Evidence from Germany," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 196-215.
    4. Weber Ernst Juerg, 2010. "The Role of the Real Interest Rate in U.S. Macroeconomic History," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-26, April.
    5. Daniel Kuehn, 2011. "A critique of Powell, Woods, and Murphy on the 1920–1921 depression," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 273-291, September.
    6. Winkler, Adalbert, 2013. "Der lender of last resort vor Gericht," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 206, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    7. repec:kap:revaec:v:30:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11138-016-0340-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Martin Komrska & Marek Hudík, 2014. "Were Hayek?s Monetary Policy Recommendations Inconsistent?," Proceedings of Economics and Finance Conferences 0402133, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    9. Fillieule Renaud, 2016. "The U.S. Monetary Policies Against the Great Recession of 2008: A Critique from the Deflationist Viewpoint of the Austrian School," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 22(1), pages 99-111, July.
    10. Douglas A. Irwin, 2011. "Anticipating the Great Depression? Gustav Cassel's Analysis of the Interwar Gold Standard," NBER Working Papers 17597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Anthony J. Evans & Vlad Tarko, 2014. "Contemporary Work in Austrian Economics," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 29(Fall 2014), pages 135-157.
    12. Vipin P. Veetil & Lawrence H. White, 2017. "Towards a New Austrian Macroeconomics," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 19-38, March.
    13. Martin Komrska & Marek Hudík, 2016. "Hayek’s monetary theory and policy: A note on alleged inconsistency," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 85-92, March.

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