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Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars$
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Charles H. Feinstein

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198288034.001.0001

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International Economics and Domestic Politics: Notes on the 1920s

International Economics and Domestic Politics: Notes on the 1920s

Chapter:
(p.131) 4 International Economics and Domestic Politics: Notes on the 1920s
Source:
Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars
Author(s):

Barry Eichengreen (Contributor Webpage)

Beth Simmons (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198288034.003.0005

There were radical differences in post‐war exchange‐rate regimes, and associated monetary and fiscal policies. Some countries accommodated moderate inflation by abandoning their pre‐war gold parities; others subjected themselves to painful deflation in order to restore gold convertibility at the pre‐war rates. Major policy differences were again evident in response to the Great Depression, with some eagerly abandoning the gold standard, others seeking at all costs to preserve it. To explain these differences, Eichengreen and Simmons investigate the relationship between economic policy and domestic political systems. They find that countries with independent central banks, more stable governments, larger governing majorities, and, more surprisingly, left‐wing parliamentary majorities were better able to resist currency depreciation in the 1920s.

Keywords:   central banks, currency depreciation, deflation, exchange rates, fiscal policy, gold standard, Great Depression, inflation, monetary policy, political systems

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