Journal Article

Europe’s Great Depression: coordination failure after the First World War

Nikolaus Wolf

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 26, issue 3, pages 339-369
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/grq022
Europe’s Great Depression: coordination failure after the First World War

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In this paper I survey and reinterpret the extensive literature on Europe’s Great Depression. I argue that Europe could not exploit its vast economic potential after 1918, because the war had not yet come to an end—indeed, it did not end before 1945. Both domestic and international institutions suffered from a lack of reciprocal trust and commitment, which can be clearly illustrated in the realm of monetary policy, but affected many other areas of policy-making, such as energy or migration policies. These institutions in turn affected expectations and thereby the extent to which, for example, expansionary policies could be effective.

Keywords: Great Depression; Europe; coordination failure; E50; F50; N14

Journal Article.  17064 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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