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

Reparations, deficits, and debt default: the Great Depression in Germany

  • Albrecht Ritschl

Germany's Great Depression of the early 1930s started in 1929 with a sudden stop in the current account. It ended after a foreign debt default that unfolded in several stages from 1931 to 1933. This chapter reviews Germany's macroeconomic history between the gold-based stabilisation of 1924 and the transition to autarky and domestic credit expansion in 1933. During the Dawes Plan of 1924-29, German borrowed abroad massively to pay reparations out of credit, a phenomenon that gave rise to the debate about the transfer problem between Keynes and his critics. An incentive based interpretation of the transfer problem is sketched to explain the later current account reversal. Time-varying VARs are employed to trace the propagation of the resulting macroeconomic shock, and to obtain estimates of fiscal multipliers.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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: no

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 44335.

in new window

Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:44335
Contact details of provider: Postal:
LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. John H. Cochrane, 2010. "Understanding Policy in the Great Recession: Some Unpleasant Fiscal Arithmetic," NBER Working Papers 16087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gerhard Bry, 1960. "Wages in Germany, 1871-1945," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_60-1, September.
  3. Harry G. Johnson, 1956. "The Transfer Problem and Exchange Stability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 212.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  5. Coenen, Günter & Straub, Roland & Trabandt, Mathias, 2012. "Fiscal policy and the 'Great Recession' in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1429, European Central Bank.
  6. Nico Voigtländer & Joachim Voth, 2011. "Persecution perpetuated: The medieval origins of anti-semitic violence in Nazi Germany," Economics Working Papers 1269, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Giancarlo Corsetti & Keith Kuester & Andre Meier & Gernot J. Muller, 2011. "Soverign risk and the effects of fiscal retrenchment in deep recessions," Working Papers 11-43, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Uhlig, Harald, 2005. "What are the effects of monetary policy on output? Results from an agnostic identification procedure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 381-419, March.
  10. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Working Papers 1894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Albrecht Ritschl & Samad Sarferaz, 2010. "Crisis? What Crisis? Currency vs. Banking in the Financial Crisis of 1931," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-014, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  12. Schnabel, Isabel, 2002. "The German Twin Crisis of 1931," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-48, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  13. Gernot Müller & Giancarlo Corsetti & Andre Meier, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus with Spending Reversals," IMF Working Papers 09/106, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Ethan Ilzetzki & Enrique G. Mendoza & Carlos A. Végh, 2010. "How Big (Small?) are Fiscal Multipliers?," NBER Working Papers 16479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Bertola, G. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Trigger Pointsand Budget Cuts ; Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," Papers 26-91, Tel Aviv.
  16. King, Gary & Rosen, Ori & Tanner, Martin & Wagner, Alexander F., 2008. "Ordinary Economic Voting Behavior in the Extraordinary Election of Adolf Hitler," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(04), pages 951-996, December.
  17. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2010. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 24," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brow09-1, September.
  18. Ritschl, Albrecht, 1996. "Sustainability of High Public Debt: What the Historical Record Shows," CEPR Discussion Papers 1357, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Tobias Cwik & Volker Wieland, 2011. "Keynesian government spending multipliers and spillovers in the euro area," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(67), pages 493-549, 07.
  20. Lloyd A. Metzler, 1942. "The Transfer Problem Reconsidered," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 397.
  21. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
  22. Feinstein, Charles H. & Temin, Peter & Toniolo, Gianni, 1997. "The European Economy Between the Wars," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774815, December.
  23. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
  24. Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number eich92-1, September.
  25. Broadberry S. N. & Ritschl A., 1995. "Real Wages, Productivity, and Unemployment in Britain and Germany during the 1920's," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 327-349, July.
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:ehl:wpaper:44335. 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: (LSERO Manager on behalf of EH Dept.)

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.