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Economic Recovery from the Argentine Great Depression: Institutions, Expectations, and the Change of Macroeconomic Regime

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  • Gerardo della Paolera
  • Alan M. Taylor

Abstract

This work explores how Argentina overcame the Great Depression and asks whether active macroeconomic interventions made any contribution to the recovery. In particular, we study Argentine macroeconomic policy as it deviated from gold-standard orthodoxy after the final suspension of convertibility in 1929. As elsewhere, fiscal policy in Argentina was conservative, and had little power to smooth output. Monetary policy became heterodox after 1929. The first and most important stage of institutional change took place with the switch from a metallic monetary regime to a fiduciary regime in 1931; the Caja de Conversi¢n (Conversion Office, a currency board) began rediscounting as a means to sterilize gold outflows and avoid deflationary pressures, thus breaking from orthodox game. and were not enough to fully offset the incipient monetary contractions: the recovery derived from changes in beliefs and expectations surrounding the shift in the monetary and exchange-rate regime, and the delinking of gold flows and the money base. Agents perceived a new regime, as shown by the path of consumption, investment, and estimated ex ante real interest rates: the predated a later, and supposedly more significant, stage of institutional reform, namely the creation of the central bank in 1935. Still, the extent of intervention was weak, and insufficient to fully offset external shocks to prices and money. Argentine macropolicy was heterodox in terms of the change of regime, but still conservative in terms of the tentative scope of the measures taken.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerardo della Paolera & Alan M. Taylor, 2000. "Economic Recovery from the Argentine Great Depression: Institutions, Expectations, and the Change of Macroeconomic Regime," NBER Working Papers 6767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6767
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    1. Buscando un Premio Nobel colectivo
      by Lucas Llach in La ciencia maldita on 2010-11-03 05:55:43

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael D. Bordo & Harold James, 2008. "A Long Term Perspective on the Euro," NBER Working Papers 13815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Guisan, M.Carmen & Martinez, C., 2003. "Education, Industrial Development and Foreign Trade in Argentina: Econometric Models and International Comparisons," Economic Development 67, University of Santiago de Compostela. Faculty of Economics and Business. Econometrics..
    3. Michael D. Bordo & Lars Jonung & Agnieszka Markiewicz, 2013. "A Fiscal Union for the Euro: Some Lessons from History ," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(3), pages 449-488, September.
    4. Rafael Di Tella & Juan Dubra, 2010. "Peronist Beliefs and Interventionist Policies," NBER Working Papers 16621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:spr:laecrv:v:27:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s40503-017-0046-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Alan M. Taylor, 2013. "Cross of Euros," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 167-192, Summer.
    7. repec:ilo:ilowps:373388 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Sanz Villarroya, Isabel & Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2004. "Institutional instability and growth in Argentina: a long-run view," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wh046705, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    9. Cha, Myung Soo, 2000. "Did Korekiyo Takahashi Rescue Japan from the Great Depression?," Discussion Paper Series a395, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    10. Bordo, Michael D. & Vegh, Carlos A., 2002. "What if Alexander Hamilton had been Argentinean? A comparison of the early monetary experiences of Argentina and the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 459-494, April.
    11. Salvatore, Ricardo D., 2004. "Stature decline and recovery in a food-rich export economy: Argentina 1900-1934," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 233-255, July.
    12. Velimir Šonje, 2000. "Exchange Rate and Output in the Aftermath of the Great Depression and During the Transition Period in Central Europe," Working Papers 4, The Croatian National Bank, Croatia.
    13. Alston, Lee J. & Gallo, Andrés A., 2010. "Electoral fraud, the rise of Peron and demise of checks and balances in Argentina," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 179-197, April.
    14. Haubrich, Joseph G. & Ritter, Joseph A., 2004. "Committing and reneging: A dynamic model of policy regimes," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-18.
    15. Solimano, Andrés, 2003. "Globalization and international migration: the Latin American experience," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    16. Sanz Villarroya, Isabel & Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2006. "Contract enforcement and Argentina's long-run decline," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp06-06, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    17. Emilio Ocampo, 2015. "Commodity Price Booms and Populist Cycles. An Explanation of Argentina’s Decline in the 20th Century," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 562, Universidad del CEMA.
    18. Sanz Villarroya, Isabel, 2007. "Los resultados macroeconómicos y la posición relativa de la economía argentina : 1875-2000," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp07-04, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    19. Barry Eichengreen, 2002. "Still Fettered After All These Years," NBER Working Papers 9276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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