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The prelude and global impact of the Great Depression: Evidence from a new macroeconomic dataset

Thilo Albers

Explorations in Economic History, 2018, vol. 70, issue C, 150-163

Abstract: Based on a novel dataset of about 1150 time series, this study provides monthly economic activity estimates for 28 countries during the Great Depression. Due to their high frequency, the indices reveal that steady growth was far from universal even in the second half of the 1920s. Monetary and financial instability, agricultural crises, and labor conflict continued to plague economies around the globe. The high frequency of the data also facilitates a global comparison of the severity of the Great Depression along two dimensions: the cumulative loss and duration. The variation along these two dimensions across and within countries indicates a rising importance of the trade channel at the later stages of the crisis. Finally, the study highlights promising avenues for future research on the Great Depression.

Keywords: Great Depression; Interwar period; Economic activity estimates; Business cycles; Trade channel (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C38 E32 E58 N14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2018.08.004

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:150-163