The Great Depression
NBER Historical Working Paper No. 62
This history of the Great Depression was prepared for The Cambridge Economic History of the United States. It describes real and imagined causes of the Depression, bank failures and deflation, the Fed and the gold standard, the start of recovery, the first New Deal, and the second New Deal. I argue that adherence to the gold standard caused the Depression, that abandoning gold started recovery, and that several of the New Deal measures adopted in the recovery lasted in good order for half a century.