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The Gold Standard and the Great Depression

  • Barry Eichengreen
  • Peter Temin

This paper, written primarily for historians, attempts to explain why political leaders and central bankers continued to adhere to the gold standard as the Great Depression intensified. We do not focus on the effects of the gold standard on the Depression, which we and others have documented elsewhere, but on the reasons why policy makers chose the policies they did. We argue that the mentality of the gold standard was pervasive and compelling to the leaders of the interwar economy. It was expressed and reinforced by the discourse among these leaders. It was opposed and finally defeated by mass politics, but only after the interaction of national policies had drawn the world into the Great Depression.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6060.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6060.

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Date of creation: Jun 1997
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Publication status: published as Eichengreen, Barry and Peter Temin. "The Gold Standard and the Great Depression." Contemporary European History 9, 2 (2000): 183-207.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6060
Note: DAE ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-76, June.
  2. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133.
  3. 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.
  4. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, June.
  5. Michael D. Bordo, 1995. "The Gold Standard as a `Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval'," NBER Working Papers 5340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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