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Great expectations and the end of the depression

  • Gauti B. Eggertsson

This paper argues that the U.S. economy's recovery from the Great Depression was driven by a shift in expectations brought about by the policy actions of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On the monetary policy side, Roosevelt abolished the gold standard and-even more important-announced the policy objective of inflating the price level to pre-depression levels. On the fiscal policy side, Roosevelt expanded real and deficit spending. Together, these actions made his policy objective credible; they violated prevailing policy dogmas and introduced a policy regime change such as that described in work by Sargent and by Temin and Wigmore. The economic consequences of Roosevelt's policies are evaluated in a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with sticky prices and rational expectations.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 234.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:234
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  14. Eggertsson, Gauti B., 2006. "The Deflation Bias and Committing to Being Irresponsible," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(2), pages 283-321, March.
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  18. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "New Deal policies and the persistence of the Great Depression: a general equilibrium analysis," Working Papers 597, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Harrison, Sharon G. & Weder, Mark, 2002. "Did sunspot cause the Great Depression?," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,35, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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  23. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  24. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1987. "The Case of the Negative Nominal Interest Rates: New Estimates of the Term Structure of Interest Rates During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 2472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  32. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
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