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The Disintegration of the Gold Exchange Standard During the Great Depression – Déjà Vu for the Eurozone?
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The Disintegration of the Gold Exchange Standard During the Great Depression – Déjà Vu for the Eurozone?

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
With the onset of the Great Recession in autumn 2008, the Great Depression of the 1930s quickly... mehr
The Disintegration of the Gold Exchange Standard During the Great Depression – Déjà Vu for the Eurozone?
With the onset of the Great Recession in autumn 2008, the Great Depression of the 1930s quickly became the historical period most often evoked to explain current events and, potentially, predict the future. An important aspect of the Great Depression was the breakdown of the gold exchange standard between 1931 and 1936; the end of this system of fixed exchange rates – and the ensuing cycle of competitive devaluations – was seen by most contemporaries as beggar-thy-neighbour policies and hence as causing a deepening of the depression. However, economic historians today see the abandonment of the gold standard as one, if not the most important, factor in ending the Great Depression. This paper explains the causes and consequences of the breakdown of the interwar gold standard and asks whether it offers any lessons for the on-going euro crisis.