The Great Depression, 1929 - 1938: Lessons for the 1980's
Economists as diverse in approach as Lord Keynes and Milton Friedman have analyzed the causes of the Great Depression, and their answers have ranged from underconsumption to failings in monetary policy. In Part 1 of The Great Depression, Christian Saint-Etienne compares these theories with economic statistics for the interwar period and adds a further explanation: a collapse in international trade initiated by the Hawley-Smoot Tariff in the United States. Part 2 studies the economic history of the 1970s and the early 1980s to assess the likelhood of a depression in the 1980s. Among the author's recommendations for preventing a recurrence are free trade, reform of the international banking system, and coordination of the monetary policies of the major industrial nations.
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adjustment Anna Schwartz banking system billion Britain British business cycle capital causes changes collapse comparative advantage currency current account current-account deficit debt-service demand for real deposits Depression devaluation domestic economic activity economic agents employment evolution ex ante ex ante demand exchange rates farm sector Federal Reserve fell financial system fiscal policy foreign France Germany gold standard Hawley-Smoot Tariff imports increased industrial production index inflation institutions interest rates international banking international economy international trade investment Japan June markets monetary policy national income non-oil developing countries OECD oil shock oil-exporting output payments percent in 1981 percentage private sector quantity of money rate of growth ratio Rational Expectations real activity real money balances real terms reduced scarce resources scenario seven industrial countries share of exports short-term SOURCE stabilized stock of money Table trade war U.S. Congress U.S. DOLLARS uncertainty United Kingdom World Economic Outlook