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Inflation Expectations and Recovery from the Depression in 1933: Evidence from the Narrative Record

Author

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  • Andrew Jalil
  • Gisela Rua

Abstract

This paper uses the historical narrative record to determine whether inflation expectations shifted during the second quarter of 1933, precisely as the recovery from the Great Depression took hold. First, by examining the historical news record and the forecasts of contemporary business analysts, we show that inflation expectations increased dramatically. Second, using an event-studies approach, we identify the impact on financial markets of the key events that shifted inflation expectations. Third, we gather new evidence--both quantitative and narrative--that indicates that the shift in inflation expectations played a causal role in stimulating the recovery.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Jalil & Gisela Rua, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Recovery from the Depression in 1933: Evidence from the Narrative Record," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2015-29
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2015.029
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2015.029
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael D. Bordo, 2017. "An Historical Perspective on the Quest for Financial Stability and the Monetary Policy Regime," Economics Working Papers 17108, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    2. Anderson, Richard G. & Bordo, Michael & Duca, John V., 2017. "Money and velocity during financial crises: From the great depression to the great recession," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 32-49.
    3. Joshua K. Hausman & Paul W. Rhode & Johannes F. Wieland, 2019. "Recovery from the Great Depression: The Farm Channel in Spring 1933," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(2), pages 427-472, February.
    4. Michael D. Bordo, 2017. "An historical perspective on financial stability and monetary policy regimes: A case for caution in central banks current obsession with financial stability," Working Paper 2018/5, Norges Bank.
    5. Leeper, E.M. & Leith, C., 2016. "Understanding Inflation as a Joint Monetary–Fiscal Phenomenon," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2305-2415, Elsevier.
    6. Binder, Carola Conces, 2016. "Estimation of historical inflation expectations," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-31.
    7. Fishback, Price & Fleitas, Sebastian & Rose, Jonathan & Snowden, Ken, 2020. "Collateral Damage: The Impact of Foreclosures on New Home Mortgage Lending in the 1930s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 853-885, September.
    8. Taylor, Jason E. & Neumann, Todd C., 2016. "Recovery Spring, Faltering Fall: March to November 1933," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 54-67.
    9. Mathy, Gabriel & Stekler, Herman, 2017. "Expectations and forecasting during the Great Depression: Real-time evidence from the business press," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-15.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Great Depression; inflation expectations; liquidity trap; narrative evidence; regime change;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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