Great Depression

The Collapse of the US economy starting with the Stock Market crash of 1929. A big Depression.

Probably mainly caused by Economic Transition.

Solved by the New Deal, or by World War II? See A 20th Century Economic Theory

Arnold Kling notes the unreliability of economic history, in this case and in general.

Milton Friedman: Monetary History of the UnitedStates, 1867-1960 ISBN:0691003548 - big section on the Great Depression

  • Friedman and Schwartz's interpretation of the Great Depression is both figuratively and literally at the heart of their book. The detailed discussion occupies about 30 percent of the total, and the episode is referred to by way of contrast in discussions of other episodes. Princeton University Press later issued this section as a separate volume, The Great Contraction.

  • in 1963, he and Anna Schwartz coauthored Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960. In it they contend that the Great Depression was the result of ill-conceived monetary policies by the Federal Reserve. Upon receipt of the unpublished manuscript submitted by the authors, the Federal Reserve board responded internally with a lengthy critical review. Such was their agitation that the Fed governors discontinued their policy of releasing minutes from the board's meetings to the public. Additionally, they commissioned a counterhistory to be written (by Elmus R Wicker) in the hope of detracting from Monetary History.

  • special issue of the Cato Journal on the book's 40th anniversary

Ben Bernanke: Essays on the Great Depression ISBN:0691118205


  • sample chapter. To some extent the proponents of these two views argued past each other, with monetarists stressing the monetary sources of the latter stages of the Great Contraction (from late 1930 or early 1931 until 1933), and antimonetarists emphasizing the likely importance of nonmonetary factors in the initial downturn... Substantively - in marked contrast to the inconclusive state of affairs that prevailed in the late 1970s - the new Gold Standard research allows us to assert with considerable confidence that monetary factors played an important causal role, both in the worldwide decline in prices and output and in their eventual recovery.

Murray Rothbard: America's Great Depression focuses on causes (Government Failure), not solutions.

RobertHiggs says the "GreatDuration" was extended by the New Deal, with the Great Escape not really starting until after the end of World War II.

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