IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

With a Bang, Not a Whimper: Pricking Germany's 'Stock Market Bubble' in 1927 and the Slide into Depression

  • Voth, Hans-Joachim

Asset price inflation presents central banks with a puzzle. I examine the case of Germany, 1925-7, when the Reichsbank intervened to bring down stock prices, rectify imbalances and curb speculation. Present value relations, comparisons with historical valuation measures and the time-series properties of the data suggest that there was no bubble in the German stock market. The German central bank under Hjalmar Schacht was therefore wrong to be concerned about stock prices, since no bubble can be discerned. I examine the effects of the misguided intervention by estimating a number of VARs. These suggest that a substantial part of the slowdown in the rate of capital formation after 1927 could have been avoided without the intervention.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3257.

in new window

Date of creation: Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3257
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.

Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Non-Monetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in the Propagation of the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 1054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Diba, Behzad T & Grossman, Herschel I, 1988. "Explosive Rational Bubbles in Stock Prices?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 520-30, June.
  3. Campbell, John, 2000. "Asset Pricing at the Millennium," Scholarly Articles 3294737, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1996. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-15, February.
  5. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  6. Craine, Roger, 1993. "Rational bubbles : A test," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 829-846.
  7. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 785, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Nancy P. Marion & Robert P Flood, 1998. "Perspectiveson the Recent Currency Crisis Literature," IMF Working Papers 98/130, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215.
  10. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474, 01-2013.
  11. In Choi & Bhum Suk Chung, 1995. "Sampling frequency and the power of tests for a unit root: A simulation study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 131-136, August.
  12. Christina D. Romer, 1990. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 597-624.
  13. Hamilton, James D, 1986. "On Testing for Self-fulfilling Speculative Price Bubbles," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 545-52, October.
  14. Dominguez, Kathryn M & Fair, Ray C & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1988. "Forecasting the Depression: Harvard versus Yale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 595-612, September.
  15. Barry Eichengreen and Richard S. Grossman., 1994. "Debt Deflation and Financial Instability: Two Historical Explorations," Economics Working Papers 94-231, University of California at Berkeley.
  16. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1978. "The Household Balance Sheet and the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(04), pages 918-937, December.
  17. Peter Blair Henry, 2000. "Stock Market Liberalization, Economic Reform, and Emerging Market Equity Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 529-564, 04.
  18. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1999. "Monetary policy and asset price volatility," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 17-51.
  19. Philippe Jorion & William N. Goetzmann, 1998. "Re-Emerging Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm111, Yale School of Management.
  20. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
  21. Philippe Jorion & William N. Goetzmann, 1999. "Global Stock Markets in the Twentieth Century," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 953-980, 06.
  22. Garber, Peter M., 1982. "Transition from inflation to price stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 11-42, January.
  23. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60.
  24. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "The Stock Market and Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(1), pages 115-31.
  25. James M. Poterba, 2000. "Stock Market Wealth and Consumption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 99-118, Spring.
  26. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 265, OECD Publishing.
  27. Froot, Kenneth A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Intrinsic Bubbles: The Case of Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1189-214, December.
  28. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
  29. Tom Arnold & Philip Hersch & J. Harold Mulherin & Jeffry Netter, 1999. "Merging Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 1083-1107, 06.
  30. Calomiris, Charles W & Hubbard, R Glenn, 1990. "Firm Heterogeneity, Internal Finance, and 'Credit Rationing.'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 90-104, March.
  31. Jeremy J. Siegel & Richard H. Thaler, 1997. "Anomalies: The Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 191-200, Winter.
  32. Elston, J-A, 1997. "Investment, Liquidity Constaints and Bank Relationships : Evidence from German Manufacturing Firms," Papers 17, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies-.
  33. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Investment: A q-Theory Approach," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 67-140.
  34. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," NBER Working Papers 0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
  36. Ben Bemanke & Harold James, 1991. "The Gold Standard, Deflation, and Financial Crisis in the Great Depression: An International Comparison," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets and Financial Crises, pages 33-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Hooker, Mark A., 1993. "Testing for cointegration : Power versus frequency of observation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 359-362.
  38. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  39. Voth, Hans-Joachim, 1995. "Did High Wages or High Interest Rates Bring Down the Weimar Republic? A Cointegration Model of Investment in Germany, 1925–1930," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 801-821, December.
  40. Beaulieu, Marie-Claude, 1995. "Rendements boursiers et inflation," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 71(4), pages 455-480, décembre.
  41. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
  42. Peter Temin, 1971. "The Beginning of the Depression in Germany," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 24(2), pages 240-248, 05.
  43. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
  44. Fama, Eugene F, 1981. "Stock Returns, Real Activity, Inflation, and Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 545-65, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3257. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.