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What Ended the Great Depression?

Christina D. Romer

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

September 1991

NBER Working Paper No. w3829

This paper examines the role of aggregate demand stimulus in ending the Great Depression. A simple calculation indicates that nearly all of the observed recovery of the U.S. economy prior to 1942 was due to monetary expansion. Huge gold inflows in the mid- and late-1930s swelled the U.S. money stock and appear to have stimulated the economy by lowering real interest rates and encouraging investment spending and purchases of durable goods. The finding that monetary developments were crucial to the recovery implies that self-correction played little role in the growth of real output between 1933 and 1942.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

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Date posted: April 27, 2000  

Suggested Citation

Romer, Christina D., What Ended the Great Depression? (September 1991). NBER Working Paper No. w3829. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=226730

Contact Information

Christina D. Romer (Contact Author)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )
549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
510-642-4317 (Phone)
510-642-6615 (Fax)
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