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Franklin D. Roosevelt, Silver, and China

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  • Friedman, Milton

Abstract

The silver purchase program, initiated by Franklin Roosevelt in late 1933 in response to the economically small but politically potent silver bloc, gave a large short-run subsidy to silver producers at the cost of destroying any long-run monetary role for silver. More important, it imposed severe deflation on China, the only major country still on a silver standard, and forced it off the silver standard and on to a fiat standard, which brought forward in time and increased in severity the subsequent wartime inflation and postwar hyperinflation. The silver purchase program thereby contributed, though perhaps only modestly, to the ultimate triumph of the Communists. Copyright 1992 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Franklin D. Roosevelt, Silver, and China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 62-83, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:100:y:1992:i:1:p:62-83
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    1. repec:eee:inecon:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:377-386 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jacks, David S. & Yan, Se & Zhao, Liuyan, 2017. "Silver points, silver flows, and the measure of Chinese financial integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 377-386.
    3. Burdekin, Richard C.K., 2008. "US pressure on China: Silver flows, deflation, and the 1934 Shanghai credit crunch," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 170-182, June.
    4. Bojanic, Antonio N., 2011. "Final Years of the Silver Standard in Mexico: Evidence of Purchasing Power Parity with The United States," MPRA Paper 45535, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Jul 2011.
    5. Ho, Tai-kuang & Lai, Cheng-chung, 2013. "Silver fetters? The rise and fall of the Chinese price level 1928–34," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 446-462.

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