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Europe’s Great Depression: Coordination Failure after the First World War

  • Wolf, Nikolaus

The purpose of this paper is to survey and re-interpret the extensive literature that tried to explain both the depth of the great depression in Europe and the delay of recovery as a failure to coordinate economic policies. Europe could not exploit her vast economic potential after 1918, because the war had not yet come to an end – indeed it did not end before 1945. Both, domestic and international institutions suffered from a lack of reciprocal trust and commitment, which can be clearly illustrated in the realm of monetary policy, but affected many other areas of policymaking, such as energy or migration policies. These institutions in turn affected expectations and thereby the extent to which for example expansionary policies could be effective.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7957.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7957
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521882026 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2001. "Fixing for your life," MPRA Paper 13873, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521882033 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  5. Hugh Rockoff & Michael D. Bordo, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval"," Departmental Working Papers 199528, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  6. Michael Bordo & Michael Edelstein, 1999. "Was Adherence to the Gold Standard a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" During the Interwar Period?," NBER Working Papers 7186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521708395 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521708388 is not listed on IDEAS
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