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Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s

Barry Eichengreen and Jeffrey Sachs
The Journal of Economic History
Vol. 45, No. 4 (Dec., 1985), pp. 925-946
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2121887
Page Count: 22
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Abstract

Currency depreciation in the 1930s is almost universally dismissed or condemned. This paper advances a different interpretation of these policies. It documents first that depreciation benefited the initiating countries. It shows next that there can be no presumption that depreciation was beggar-thy-neighbor. While empirical analysis indicates that the foreign repercussions of individual devaluations were in fact negative, it does not imply that competitive devaluations taken by a group of countries were without mutual benefit. To the contrary, similar policies, had they been even more widely adopted and coordinated internationally, would have hastened recovery from the Great Depression.

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