What Ended the Great Depression?
This paper examines the role of aggregate demand stimulus in ending the Great Depression. A simple calculation indicates that nearly all of the observed recovery of the U.S. economy prior to 1942 was due to monetary expansion. Huge gold inflows in the mid- and late-1930s swelled the U.S. money stock and appear to have stimulated the economy by lowering real interest rates and encouraging investment spending and purchases of durable goods. The finding that monetary developments were crucial to the recovery implies that self-correction played little role in the growth of real output between 1933 and 1942.
|Date of creation:||Sep 1991|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Journal of Economic History, Vol 52, December 1992|
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- Bernanke, Ben & Parkinson, Martin, 1989.
"Unemployment, Inflation, and Wages in the American Depression: Are There Lessons for Europe?,"
American Economic Review,
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- Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, June.
- Robert E. Lipsey & Doris Preston, 1966. "Source Book of Statistics Relating to Construction," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lips66-1, December.
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