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Inflationary expectations during Germany's great slump

Author

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  • Hans Joachim Voth

Abstract

Was the German slump inevitable? This paper argues that -despite the speed and depth of Germany's deflation in the early 1930s - fear of inflation is evident in the bond, foreign exchange, and commodity markets at certain critical junctures of the Great Depression. Therefore, policy options were more limited than many subsequent critics of Brüning's policies have been prepared to admit. Using a rational expectations framework, we find strong evidence from the bond market to suggest fear of inflation. Futures prices also reveal that market participants were betting on price increases. These findings are discussed in the context of reparations and related to the need for a regime shift to overcome the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Joachim Voth, 1998. "Inflationary expectations during Germany's great slump," Economics Working Papers 333, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:333
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    Cited by:

    1. Markus Baltzer & Gerhard Kling, 2007. "Predictability of future economic growth and the credibility of monetary regimes in Germany, 1870-2003," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 401-404.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation; great depression; rational expectations; uncertainty; monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-

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