Something Else We Can Blame on France: The Great Depression

by Steven F. Hayward

Did the French actually touch off the Great Depression? That’s the argument of this paper by Dartmouth economist Douglas Irwin, which notes that France was the most aggressive hoarder of gold between 1927 and 1932. Irwin argues that in the absence of French hoarding, the world would likely have avoided massive deflation. Herbert Hoover not available for comment.