Managing the Franc Poincare: Economic Understanding and Political Constraint in French Monetary Policy, 1928-1936

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Defense of the franc Poincaré; dominated French economic policy during the Depression. While most countries took their currencies off gold to permit a wider range of domestic policies to foster recovery, in France policy makers resolved to preserve the gold parity of the franc by balancing the budget and lowering domestic prices. Novelty and experimentation were rejected in the conviction that a durable recovery was possible only through a return to strict neoclassical orthodoxy. Managing the franc Poincaré examines French monetary management from 1928 to 1936 in order to explain this stubborn determination to achieve recovery through deflation despite evidence of its failures abroad. Through evaluation of French understanding of the Depression, French economic diplomacy in an era of economic nationalism, the evolving roles of the French treasury and the Bank of France in monetary management and policy determination, and attention to the fractious politics of the Third Republic, French monetary policy is set within its ideological, institutional and political contexts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mouré's analysis of French policy and its motives will become a standard work on the history of the French depression. He performs a valuable task in spanning and integrating political and economic history, and his work forms a distinguished contribution to the growing literature on historical political economy." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

" unusually well-researched work that sheds much light on a difficult subject. In the process, it eloquently announces the arrival of a talented young historian from whom we may expect more excellent work in the future." Modern Europe

"Kenneth Mouré has produced a magisterial treatment of French economic policy between the de jure stabilization of the franc in 1928 and the Front Populaire devaluation of 1936. Handling a wide range of material from French, British, and American archives to a spectrum of the French contemporary press, Marxist on the left, Conservative on the right, he brilliantly illuminates the economic, financial, and political scope of French domestic and international monetary policy." Charles P. Kindleberger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Kenneth Mouré's book is brilliantly researched, technically elegant, and splendidly organized. It is written with a superb balance of scholarly distance and passion. It will stand as a major contribution to the literature on French monetary policy." Stephen Schuker, Brandeis University

"...this volume deserves a wide audience of economists and economic historians alike." Journal of Economic Literature

"...a thorough acount of a much neglected subject: French monetary policy from stabilization of the franc in 1928 to its devaluation in 1936....Mouré provides a pathbreaking study in the fields of French and international financial history....This book will find a solid place among the important scholarly works in the history of international finance....a solid contribution that paves the way for further research in the vital field of international economic relations." Elisabeth Glaser-Schmidt, Journal of Modern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521394581
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1991
  • Series: Studies in Macroeconomic History Series
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations used in notes; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The depression in France; 2. French gold accumulation 1928–1932; 3. The world economic conference and the gold bloc; 4. The Bank of France: market control and interest rate policy; 5. The treasury and government finance; 6. The devaluation debate; 7. Devaluation of the Franc; Conclusion; Bibliography.

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