Essays on the Great Depression

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9780691118208: Essays on the Great Depression

Few periods in history compare to the Great Depression. Stock market crashes, bread lines, bank runs, and wild currency speculation were worldwide phenomena--all occurring with war looming in the background. This period has provided economists with a marvelous laboratory for studying the links between economic policies and institutions and economic performance. Here, Ben Bernanke has gathered together his essays on why the Great Depression was so devastating.


This broad view shows us that while the Great Depression was an unparalleled disaster, some economies pulled up faster than others, and some made an opportunity out of it. By comparing and contrasting the economic strategies and statistics of the world's nations as they struggled to survive economically, the fundamental lessons of macroeconomics stand out in bold relief against a background of immense human suffering. The essays in this volume present a uniquely coherent view of the economic causes and worldwide propagation of the depression.

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From the Back Cover:

"This influential body of work is a significant contribution to our understanding the depth and persistence of the Great Depression.... This book will become a standard reference in the field of business cycle research."--Randall Kroszner, University of Chicago

"Bernanke's work has had a powerful impact on the economics profession, alerting macroeconomists to the advantages of historical analysis, and a number of important figures (James Hamilton, Steve Cecchetti, for example), inspired by his work, have followed him into the field. The nine essays form a remarkably coherent whole."--Barry Eichengreen, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System

"Collecting these essays together will provide a single source for students to find Bernanke's substantial contributions.... His papers demonstrate conclusively that the international view of the great depression has impressive explanatory power."--Peter Temin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About the Author:

Ben S. Bernanke is a member of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. He is on leave from Princeton University, where he is the Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Economics and Public Affairs. He is author of many publications and coauthor of the recent Princeton University Press book, Inflation Targeting: Lessons from the International Experience.

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