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Overvalued: Swedish Monetary Policy in the 1930s

Author

Listed:
  • Alexander Rathke
  • Tobias Straumann
  • Ulrich Woitek

Abstract

This paper reconsiders the role of monetary policy in Sweden’s strong recovery from the Great Depression. The Riksbank in the 1930s is sometimes seen as an example of a central bank that was relatively innovative in terms of the conduct of monetary policy. To consider this analytically, we estimate a small-scale, structural general equilibrium model of a small open economy using Bayesian methods. We find that the model captures the key dynamics of the period surprisingly well. Importantly, our findings suggest that Sweden avoided the worst excesses of the depression by conducting conservative rather than innovative monetary policy. We find that, by keeping the Swedish krona undervalued to replenish foreign reserves, Sweden’s exchange rate policy unintentionally contributed to the Swedish growth miracle of the 1930s, avoiding a major slump in 1932 and enabling the country to benefit quickly from the eventual recovery of world demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Rathke & Tobias Straumann & Ulrich Woitek, 2011. "Overvalued: Swedish Monetary Policy in the 1930s," CESifo Working Paper Series 3692, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3692
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 624-660, June.
    2. Miguel Almunia & Agustín Bénétrix & Barry Eichengreen & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Gisela Rua, 2010. "From Great Depression to Great Credit Crisis: similarities, differences and lessons," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 219-265, April.
    3. Hinkle, Lawrence E. & Monteil, Peter J. (ed.), 1999. "Exchange Rate Misalignment: Concepts and Measurement for Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195211269.
    4. Javier Garcia-Cicco & Roberto Pancrazi & Martin Uribe, 2010. "Real Business Cycles in Emerging Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2510-2531, December.
    5. Malin Adolfson & Stefan Laseen & Jesper Lindé & Mattias Villani, 2005. "An estimated New Keynesian small open economy model," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    7. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133.
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    12. Nooman Rebei & Steven Ambler & Ali Dib, 2004. "Taylor Rules in an Estimated Model of a Small Open Economy," 2004 Meeting Papers 378, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-

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