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Inflationary expectations during Germany's great slump
Voth, Hans Joachim
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
Was the German slump inevitable? This paper argues that -despite thespeed and depth of Germany's deflation in the early 1930s - fear ofinflation is evident in the bond, foreign exchange, and commodity marketsat certain critical junctures of the Great Depression. Therefore, policyoptions were more limited than many subsequent critics of Brüning'spolicies have been prepared to admit. Using a rational expectationsframework, we find strong evidence from the bondmarket to suggest fearof inflation. Futures prices also reveal that market participants werebetting on price increases. These findings are discussed in the contextof reparations and related to the need for a regime shift to overcomethe crisis.
Economic and Business History
great depression
rational expectations
monetary policy
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