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Martin Ellison, “The Ends of Thirty Big Depressions” (GEAR Quarterly)
Speaker: Prof Martin Ellison, University of Oxford.
Title: “The Ends of 30 Big Depressions”
Abstract: How did countries recover from the Great Depression? In this paper we explore the argument that
leaving the gold standard helped by boosting inflationary expectations and lowering real interest
rates. We do so for a sample of 30 countries, using modern nowcasting methods and a new
dataset containing more than 230,000 monthly and quarterly observations for over 1,500
variables. In those cases where the departure from gold happened on clearly defined dates, it
seems clear that inflationary expectations rose in the wake of departure. IV regressions and
synthetic matching techniques suggest that the relationship is causal.
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