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A small open economy in the Great Depression: the case of Switzerland

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  • Peter Rosenkranz
  • Tobias Straumann
  • Ulrich Woitek

Abstract

In historical accounts of the world economic crisis of the 1930s, Switzerland is known for its staunch defense of the gold standard and the rise of corporatist policies. Yet, so far, the literature has not discussed the implications of these two features. This paper tries to show how the combination of hard-currency policy and nominal rigidities introduced by corporatist policies proved to be fatal for growth. Estimating a New Keynesian small open economy model for the period 1926-1938, we show that the decision to participate in the Gold Bloc after 1933 at an overvalued currency can be identified as the main reason for the unusual long lasting recession and that price rigidities from 1931 to 1936 significantly slowed down the adjustment process.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Rosenkranz & Tobias Straumann & Ulrich Woitek, 2014. "A small open economy in the Great Depression: the case of Switzerland," ECON - Working Papers 164, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:164
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Kaufmann, 2015. "Nominal stability and Swiss monetary regimes over two centuries," KOF Working papers 15-379, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    2. Daniel Kaufmann, 2019. "Nominal stability over two centuries," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 155(1), pages 1-23, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Great Depression; Switzerland; New Keynesian Business Cycle Model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-

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