Weather forecast or rain-dance? On inter-war business barometers
In this paper, I use the materials of the debate on the reliability and the utility of �business barometers� of the Twenties in order to show that the theoretical reflexions of the time could be used by economic historians as a working hypothesis to analyze the influence exerted by circulating statistical data on the decisions of economic operators and institutions. I offer a short illustration of the origins and circulation of economic trends forecasting in the first decades of 20th century, paying particular attention to the critical attitude shown by Corrado Gini and Oskar Morgenstern and to the debate arisen inside the Harvard Committee for Economic Research on the inefficiency of its �index of economic conditions� during the 1929 crisis. I finally suggest that thorough research on the circulation and the influence exerted by the Harvard index on the business world, still after the slump in prices of New York Stock Exchange, could contribute to explain the behaviour of American businessmen and investors during the first Thirties, and the deepening of the crisis.
|Date of creation:||2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Cannaregio, S. Giobbe no 873 , 30121 Venezia|
Web page: http://www.unive.it/dip.economia
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, June.
- Ray C. Fair & Matthew D. Shapiro & Kathryn M. Dominguez, 1986.
"Forecasting the Depression: Harvard Versus Yale,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
808, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Eichengreen, Barry, 1996.
"Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939,"
Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133, December.
- Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number eich92-1, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2007_14. 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: (Geraldine Ludbrook)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.