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Roosevelt, Warren, and the gold-buying program of 1933

Research in Economic History

ISBN: 978-0-76230-837-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-132-3

Publication date: 27 November 2001


The gold-buying program of 1933 is often viewed as a relatively minor episode in U.S. monetary history. On closer examination, however, the program can be seen as a fascinating example of using a gold price target to conduct discretionary monetary policy. In many respects similar to Irving Fisher's famous “Compensated Dollar Plan”, the program was abandoned before it had achieved the administration's goal of returning commodity prices to pre-Depression levels. Monetary historians appear to have misunderstood the fundamental nature of the gold-buying program and thus underestimated the program's effectiveness.


Sumner, S. (2001), "Roosevelt, Warren, and the gold-buying program of 1933", Research in Economic History (Research in Economic History, Vol. 20), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 135-172.



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