Harvard Meets the Crisis: U.S. Fiscal Policy in the 1930s and the Political Economy of Lauchlin B. Currie, Jacob Viner, John H. Williams and Harry D. White
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche Università degli Studi di Firenze Working Paper No. 18/2010
48 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2011 Last revised: 17 Jan 2011
Date Written: December 1, 2010
The paper aims to describe the contribution of four Harvard economists to the interpretation of the Great Depression and the policy decision making from 1933 to 1938. Lauchlin B. Currie, Jacob Viner, John H. Williams, Harry D. White, eminent scholars in the field of monetary and international economics, were deeply involved in policy decisions during the New Deal. In our synoptic analysis we will benefit from extensive scholarly work that has been provided in the last few years. We shall examine the extensive biographical connection between Currie, Viner, White and Williams with special regard to their common training at Harvard. Then we shall compare their interpretations of the causes of crisis and their proposals in fiscal, monetary and banking policy. Finally, we shall describe their advisory activity in the Roosevelt administration and try to assess their influence.
Keywords: Great Depression, Monetary Theory, Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy, Harvard University, Lauchlin Currie, Jacob Viner, Harry D. White, John H. Williams
JEL Classification: B22, E32, E58, E63, N12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation