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Late 19th and early 20th century United States business cycles and monetary policy.


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My dissertation deals with late 19th and early 20th century United States monetary and macroeconomic history. The three chapters are on the Depression of 1873-1879, the Depression of 1920-1921, and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy in the 1920s. All three place a unique economic perspective on the various historical episodes and seek to engage the contemporary literature in innovative ways. In particular, the first two utilize Austrian Business Cycle Theory (ABCT) and argue that these depressions were the result of unsustainable booms. They also argue that the depressions ended due to market based natural recoveries and were aided, and not inhibited by, the prevailing laissez faire policies of the time. The third investigates a hotly debated topic among monetary historians about whether Federal Reserve monetary policy in the 1920s was expansionary or contractionary, an issue that has relevance for understanding the Great Depression. I argue that the Federal Reserve did in fact engage in expansionary monetary policy, although I leave for future research the particular business cycle implications of this.;The first chapter deals with the period 1867-1879 in American economic history from an "Austrian" perspective. The post-Civil War boom, the Panic of 1873, and the subsequent Depression of 1873-1879 are investigated in light of ABCT and its structure of production framework. It shows how recent Civil War legislation allowed for monetary inflation and a boom to develop in the 1870s that inevitably turned into a bust. However, since the federal government pursued a policy of relative laissez faire, the economy successfully recovered. Consequently, there was no prolonged depression in the 1870s, despite it being known as the longest period of economic contraction in modern United States history which surpassed even the Great Contraction (1929-1933). Contemporaries overstated the severity and length of the depression because they relied on nominal rather than real series, and confused nominal price declines for declines in real output. In addition, they also engaged in poor data collection, which provided very incorrect information and made them overstate the severity of the decline in economic activity (such as in unemployment figures).;The second chapter examines the American post-World War 1 boom and bust. It argues that the Federal Reserve's monetary easing from 1919 to 1920 created an ABC and the collapse of the boom initiated the Depression of 1920-1921. The Depression, while relatively unknown, is noted for being unusually severe but also relatively brief. The specific causes and consequences of the Depression, as well as its relationship to the effectiveness of traditional countercyclical policies, have come under increased scrutiny since the 2007-2009 financial crisis. In particular, while many have argued that the depression ended quickly due to the prevailing fiscal and monetary contraction, many have countered that the depression was an unusual idiosyncratic episode that does not have much applicability to other downturns and recovery was in fact due to the Federal Reserve's monetary easing from 1921-1922. The subsequent laissez faire policy promoted a swift recovery which began following a severe liquidation of firms, reallocation of resources, and wage cuts stimulated by fiscal and monetary contraction. Contrary to some other accounts, significant recovery began before the Federal Reserve's 1921-1922 monetary easing affected the economy.;The third chapter analyzes the two main divergent interpretations of Federal Reserve monetary policy in the 1920s, the expansionary view described by the Rothbard and the earlier "Austrian" writers, and the contractionary view most notably held by Friedman and Schwartz and later monetary historians. It argues in line with the former that the Federal Reserve engaged in expansionary monetary policy during the 1920s, as opposed to the gold sterilization view of the latter. The main rationale for this argument is that the increase in the money supply was driven by the increase in the money multiplier and total bank reserves, both of which were caused primarily by Fed policy (i.e., a decrease in reserve requirements and an increase in controlled reserves, respectively). Showing that this expansion did in fact occur provides the first step in supporting an ABCT interpretation of the 1920s, namely that the Federal Reserve created a credit fueled boom that led to the Great Depression, although this is not pursued in the chapter.
机译:我的论文涉及19世纪末和20世纪初的美国货币和宏观经济历史。这三章分别是关于1873-1879年大萧条,1920-1921年大萧条以及1920年代美联储的货币政策。这三者对各种历史情节都具有独特的经济观点,并试图以创新的方式吸引当代文学。特别是前两个国家利用奥地利经济周期理论(ABCT)指出,这些萧条是不可持续的繁荣的结果。他们还认为,萧条的结束是基于市场的自然复苏,并且受到当时流行的自由放任政策的帮助,但并未受到抑制。第三部分调查了货币历史学家中一个热烈讨论的话题,即1920年代美联储的货币政策是扩张性的还是收缩性的,这个问题与理解大萧条有关。我认为美联储实际上确实参与了扩张性货币政策,尽管我将其具体的商业周期含义留给未来的研究。第一章从“奥地利”角度探讨了美国经济史上的1867-1879年时期。 。内战之后的繁荣,1873年的恐慌以及随后的1873年至1879年的大萧条,都根据ABCT及其生产结构进行了研究。它显示了最近的内战立法如何允许货币通货膨胀和1870年代的繁荣发展,不可避免地使其破产。但是,由于联邦政府奉行相对宽松的政策,经济得以成功复苏。因此,尽管被誉为美国近代史上最长的经济收缩时期,甚至超过了大收缩时期(1929-1933年),但在1870年代并没有持续的萧条。同时代人高估了经济萧条的严重程度和持续时间,因为他们依赖名义价格而非实际价格,而混淆了名义价格的下降和实际产出的下降。此外,他们还从事不良的数据收集工作,这提供了非常不正确的信息,并使他们夸大了经济活动下降的严重性(例如失业数字)。第二章考察了第一次世界大战后美国的繁荣和胸围。它认为,美联储从1919年到1920年的货币宽松政策创造了ABC,繁荣的崩溃引发了1920-1921年的大萧条。大萧条虽然相对不为人所知,但异常严重但也相对短暂。自2007年至2009年的金融危机以来,大萧条的具体原因和后果,以及与传统反周期政策有效性的关系,受到了越来越多的审查。特别是,尽管许多人认为由于普遍的财政和货币紧缩,萧条很快就结束了,但许多人反驳说,萧条是不寻常的特质事件,不适用于其他衰退,而复苏实际上是由于联邦储备金从1921-1922年的货币宽松政策。随后的放任政策促进了迅速的复苏,这种复苏始于企业的严重清算,资源的重新分配以及财政和货币紧缩刺激的减薪。与其他一些说法相反,在美联储1921-1922年的货币宽松影响经济之前就开始了显着的复苏。第三章分析了1920年代美联储货币政策的两种主要分歧解释,罗斯巴德(Rothbard)和他所描述的扩张观点。早期的“奥地利”作家,以及最着名的弗里德曼和施瓦茨以及后来的货币历史学家所持的收缩观点。它与前者一致认为美联储在1920年代从事扩张性货币政策,与后者的黄金绝育观点相反。该论点的主要理由是货币供应量的增加是由货币乘数和银行准备金总额的增长所驱动的,这两者主要是由美联储的政策造成的(即,准备金要求的减少和受控货币的增加)。储备)。表明确实确实发生了这种扩张,为支持ABCT对1920年代的解释提供了第一步,即美联储创造了信贷推动的繁荣,导致了大萧条,尽管本章并未对此进行探讨。


  • 作者

    Newman, Patrick.;

  • 作者单位

    George Mason University.;

  • 授予单位 George Mason University.;
  • 学科 Economic history.
  • 学位 Ph.D.
  • 年度 2016
  • 页码 149 p.
  • 总页数 149
  • 原文格式 PDF
  • 正文语种 eng
  • 中图分类
  • 关键词


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