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Could Stable Money Have Averted the Great Contraction?

  • Bordo, Michael D
  • Choudhri, Ehsan U
  • Schwartz, Anna J

The authors test the hypothesis that the Great Contraction would have been attenuated had the Federal Reserve not allowed the money stock to decline. They simulate a model that estimates separate relations for output and the price level and assumes that output and price dynamics are not especially sensitive to policy changes. The simulations include a strong and a weak form of Milton Friedman's constant money growth rule. The results support the hypothesis that the Great Contraction would have been mitigated and shortened had the Federal Reserve followed a constant money growth rule. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 33 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 484-505

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:33:y:1995:i:3:p:484-505
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  1. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-76, June.
  2. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
  3. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  4. Romer, Christina D., 1992. "What Ended the Great Depression?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 757-784, December.
  5. Bennett T. McCallum, 1993. "Unit Roots in Macroeconomic Time Series: Some Critical Issues," NBER Working Papers 4368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hafer, R W & Jansen, Dennis W, 1991. "The Demand for Money in the United States: Evidence from Cointegration Tests," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 155-68, May.
  7. Milton Friedman & Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1970. "Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie70-1, December.
  8. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1990. "Financial Fragility and Economic Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 87-114, February.
  9. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Georgios Karras, 1992. "Sources of Output Fluctuations During the Interwar Period: Further Evidence on the Causes of the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 4049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ben Bernanke & Frederic Mishkin, 1992. "Central Bank Behavior and the Strategy of Monetary Policy: Observations From Six Industrialized Countries," NBER Working Papers 4082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Boughton, James M & Wicker, Elmus R, 1979. "The Behavior of the Currency-Deposit Ratio during the Great Depression," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(4), pages 405-18, November.
  12. David C. Wheelock, 1992. "Monetary policy in the Great Depression: what the Fed did and why," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 3-28.
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