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Money in the Western Legal TraditionMiddle Ages to Bretton Woods$
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David Fox and Wolfgang Ernst

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704744.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 June 2021

Hyperinflations of the Early Twentieth Century

Hyperinflations of the Early Twentieth Century

(p.653) 30 Hyperinflations of the Early Twentieth Century
Money in the Western Legal Tradition

François R. Velde

Oxford University Press

This chapter surveys the hyperinflations of the interwar period (1919–1939). It presents a historical overview and the standard economic interpretation of this phenomenon. The nineteenth century was a period of unprecedented growth and globalization. From 1870 to 1913, world per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have grown by 1.5% per year, enough to double every 45 years; in comparison, it had grown 20% from 1500 to 1820. Unfortunately, the consequences of World War I posed unprecedented fiscal challenges which led to severe inflation in several countries, especially in Europe. At the war’s end in 1918, nations had to manage a more or less large stock of paper money. They were also confronted with large amounts of debt, impaired economies, and disagreements about where the burden of future taxes should lie within society.

Keywords:   hyperinflation, inflation, Gross Domestic Product, First World War, fiscal challenges, paper money, debt, Europe

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