IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/1498.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s

Author

Listed:
  • Barry J. Eichengreen
  • Jeffrey Sachs

Abstract

Currency depreciation in the 1930s is almost universally dismissed or condemned. It is credited with providing little if any stimulus for economic recovery in the depreciating countries and blamed for transmitting harmful beggar-thy-neighbor impulses to the rest of the world econonv. In this paper we argue for a radically different interpretation of exchange-rate policy in the 1930s . We document first that currency depreciation was beneficial for the initiating countries. It worked through both the standard supply- and demand-side channels suggested by modern variants of the Keynesian model. We show next that there can in fact be no presumption that currency depreciation inthe 1930s was beggar-thy-neighbor policy. Rather, an empirical analysis of the historical record is needed to determine whether the impact on other countries was favorable or unfavorable. We conclude provisionally on the basis of this analysis that the foreign repercussions of individual devaluations were in fact negative -that the depreciations considered were beggar-thy-neighbor. As we point out, however, this finding does not support the conclusion that competitive devaluations taken by a group of countries were without benefit for the system as a whole. We argue to the contrary that similar policies, had they been even more widely adopted, would have hastened recovery from the Great Depression.

Suggested Citation

  • Barry J. Eichengreen & Jeffrey Sachs, 1984. "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s," NBER Working Papers 1498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1498
    Note: ITI IFM
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1498.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eichengreen, Barry J., 1981. "A dynamic model of tariffs, output and employment under flexible exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 341-359, August.
    2. Peter Temin, 1971. "The Beginning of the Depression in Germany," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 24(2), pages 240-248, May.
    3. Eichengreen, Barry, 1984. "Central bank cooperation under the interwar gold standard," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 64-87, January.
    4. Peden, G C, 1980. "Keynes, the Treasury and Unemployment in the Later Nineteen-Thirties," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-18, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Metiu, Norbert, 2021. "Anticipation effects of protectionist U.S. trade policies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    2. Mark Weder, 2006. "A heliocentric journey into Germany's Great Depression," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 288-316, April.
    3. Bordo, Michael D., 1986. "Explorations in monetary history: A survey of the literature," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 339-415, October.
    4. Fratianni, Michele & Giri, Federico, 2017. "The tale of two great crises," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 5-31.
    5. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
    6. Hans Joachim Voth, 2000. "With a bang, not a whimper: Pricking Germany's "stock market bubble" in 1927 and the slide into depression," Economics Working Papers 516, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Lindé, Jesper & Pescatori, Andrea, 2019. "The macroeconomic effects of trade tariffs: Revisiting the Lerner symmetry result," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 52-69.
    8. Stéphane Auray & Devereux Michael B. & Aurélien Eyquem, 2020. "Trade Wars, Currency Wars," Post-Print halshs-03031865, HAL.
    9. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1991. "Tariffs and sectoral adjustments in an open economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 53-89.
    10. Stefan Reitz & Ulf D. Slopek, 2005. "Macroeconomic Effects of Tariffs: Insights from a New Open Economy Macroeconomics Model," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(II), pages 285-311, June.
    11. Eichengreen, Barry, 1987. "Hegemonic Stability Theories of the International Monetary System," CEPR Discussion Papers 193, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Sen, Partha & Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1989. "Tariffs, Capital Accumulation, and the Current Account in a Small Open Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 811-831, November.
    13. Adam, Marc C. & Jansson, Walter, 2019. "Credit constraints and the propagation of the Great Depression in Germany," Discussion Papers 2019/12, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    14. Fender, John & Yip, Chong K., 2000. "Tariffs and exchange rate dynamics redux," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 633-655, October.
    15. Rekha Misra & Sonam Choudhry, 2020. "Trade War: Likely Impact on India," Foreign Trade Review, , vol. 55(1), pages 93-118, February.
    16. Lind�, Jesper & Pescatori, Andrea, 2017. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Trade Tariffs: Revisiting the Lerner Symmetry Result," CEPR Discussion Papers 12534, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Mark Weder, 2006. "Some Observations on the Great Depression in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(1), pages 113-133, February.
    18. Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2020. "A History of Global Capitalism: Feuding Elites and Imperial Expansion," Working Paper Series 1020, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    19. Aizenman, Joshua, 1985. "Tariff liberalization policy and financial restrictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 241-255, November.
    20. Kristian Blickle & Markus Brunnermeier & Stephan Luck, 2021. "Who Can Tell Which Banks Will Fail?," Working Papers 2021-5, Princeton University. Economics Department..

    More about this item

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. ブロック経済 in Wikipedia Japanese
    2. 合成の誤謬 in Wikipedia Japanese
    3. 通貨安競争 in Wikipedia Japanese

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1498. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.