The Social Construction of the Great Depression: Industrial Policy During the 1930s in the United States, Britain, and France
Theory and Society, Volume 22, Issue 1 (February 1993), 1-56
57 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2014
Date Written: 1993
The Great Depression called Western nations' most fundamental ideas about economic growth into question by disrupting the march of progress. Governments responded by rejecting orthodox growth strategies in favor of new policies they hoped would turn their economies around.' In the realm of macro-economic policy, governments had followed a common orthodoxy before the 1930s that prescribed adhering to the gold standard and cutting spending in hard times; yet during the depression they adopted a new orthodoxy that prescribed exactly the opposite: currency devaluation and increased public spending.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation