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Publication date: 16 December 2017

Masazumi Wakatabe

This chapter investigates the nature of the transformation of macroeconomics by focusing on the impact of the Great Depression on economic doctrines. There is no doubt…

Abstract

This chapter investigates the nature of the transformation of macroeconomics by focusing on the impact of the Great Depression on economic doctrines. There is no doubt that the Great Depression exerted an enormous influence on economic thought, but the exact nature of its impact should be examined more carefully. In this chapter, I examine the transformation from a perspective which emphasizes the interaction between economic ideas and economic events, and the interaction between theory and policy rather than the development of economic theory. More specifically, I examine the evolution of what became known as macroeconomics after the Depression in terms of an ongoing debate among the “stabilizers” and their critics. I further suggest using four perspectives, or schools of thought, as measures to locate the evolution and transformation; the gold standard mentality, liquidationism, the Treasury view, and the real-bills doctrine. By highlighting these four economic ideas, I argue that what happened during the Great Depression was the retreat of the gold standard mentality, the complete demise of liquidationism and the Treasury view, and the strange survival of the real-bills doctrine. Each of those transformations happened not in response to internal debates in the discipline, but in response to government policies and real-world events.

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Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

Abstract

Details

Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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