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The Ends of 30 Big Depressions

Author

Listed:
  • Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke
  • Sang Seok Lee
  • Martin Ellison

    (Division of Social Science)

Abstract

How did countries recover from the Great Depression? In this paper we explore the argument that leaving the gold standard helped by boosting inflationary expectations and lowering real interest rates. We do so for a sample of 30 countries, using modern nowcasting methods and a new dataset containing more than 230,000 monthly and quarterly observations for over 1,500 variables. In those cases where the departure from gold happened on clearly defined dates, it seems clear that inflationary expectations rose in the wake of departure. Synthetic matching techniques suggest that the relationship is causal.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke & Sang Seok Lee & Martin Ellison, 2020. "The Ends of 30 Big Depressions," Working Papers 20200035, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised May 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:nad:wpaper:20200035
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    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

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