EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Currency devaluations and beggar-my-neighbour penalties: evidence from the 1930s

Thilo Albers

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: The currency devaluations of the 1930s facilitated a faster recovery from the Great Depression in the countries depreciating, but their unilateral manner provoked retaliatory and discriminatory commercial policies abroad. This article explores the importance of the retaliatory motive in the imposition of trade barriers by gold bloc countries during the 1930s and its effects on trade. Relying on new and existing datasets on the introduction of quotas, tariffs, and bilateral trade costs, the quantification of the discriminatory response suggests that these countries imposed significant beggar‐my‐neighbour penalties. The penalties reduced trade to a similar degree that modern regional trade agreements foster trade. Furthermore, the analysis of contemporary newspapers reveals that the devaluations of the early 1930s triggered an Anglo‐French trade conflict marked by tit‐for‐tat protectionist policies. With regards to global trade, the unilateral currency depreciations came at a high price in political and economic terms. These costs must have necessarily reduced their benefit to the world as a whole.

Keywords: Great Depression; trade barriers; currency depreciation; 1350161 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N12 N22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2020-02-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-hpe
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in Economic History Review, 1, February, 2020, 73(1), pp. 233 - 257. ISSN: 0013-0117

Downloads: (external link)
http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/100269/ Open access version. (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Currency devaluations and beggar‐my‐neighbour penalties: evidence from the 1930s (2020) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ehl:lserod:100269

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by LSERO Manager ().

 
Page updated 2022-07-01
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:100269