Who Adjusts?: Domestic Sources of Foreign Economic Policy during the Interwar Years

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Overview

In this work Beth Simmons presents a fresh view of why governments decided to abide by or defect from the gold standard during the 1920s and 1930s. Previous studies of the spread of the Great Depression have emphasized "tit-for-tat" currency and tariff manipulation and a subsequent cycle of destructive competition. Simmons, on the other hand, analyzes the influence of domestic politics on national responses to the international economy. In so doing, she powerfully confirms that different political regimes choose different economic adjustment strategies.

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Editorial Reviews

American Political Science Review
One of the best books I have read in years. . . . Simmons develops a novel, domestic explanation for the policy failures of the interwar period . . . [and] untangles the complicated web of the interwar international political economy. The book not only sets a new standard of research excellence, but it is required reading for all international political economists, as well as many comparativists and historians. . . . Who Adjusts? will certainly become a classic analysis of interwar economic policy.
— David A. Lake
American Historical Review
[Simmons's] arguments and results hold considerable interest for economists and historians as well as political scientists.
— Kenneth Mouré
Economic History Review
This ambitious study makes an important contribution to systemic theories of international economics cooperation. . . . Simmons's bold and lucid analysis is stimulating.
— Patricia Clavin
American Political Science Review - David A. Lake
One of the best books I have read in years. . . . Simmons develops a novel, domestic explanation for the policy failures of the interwar period . . . [and] untangles the complicated web of the interwar international political economy. The book not only sets a new standard of research excellence, but it is required reading for all international political economists, as well as many comparativists and historians. . . . Who Adjusts? will certainly become a classic analysis of interwar economic policy.
American Historical Review - Kenneth Moure
[Simmons's] arguments and results hold considerable interest for economists and historians as well as political scientists.
Economic History Review - Patricia Clavin
This ambitious study makes an important contribution to systemic theories of international economics cooperation. . . . Simmons's bold and lucid analysis is stimulating.
American Historical Review - Kenneth Mouré
[Simmons's] arguments and results hold considerable interest for economists and historians as well as political scientists.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 1995 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award

"One of the best books I have read in years. . . . Simmons develops a novel, domestic explanation for the policy failures of the interwar period . . . [and] untangles the complicated web of the interwar international political economy. The book not only sets a new standard of research excellence, but it is required reading for all international political economists, as well as many comparativists and historians. . . . Who Adjusts? will certainly become a classic analysis of interwar economic policy."—David A. Lake, American Political Science Review

"[Simmons's] arguments and results hold considerable interest for economists and historians as well as political scientists."—Kenneth Mour, American Historical Review

"This ambitious study makes an important contribution to systemic theories of international economics cooperation. . . . Simmons's bold and lucid analysis is stimulating."—Patricia Clavin, Economic History Review

American Historical Review
[Simmons's] arguments and results hold considerable interest for economists and historians as well as political scientists.
— Kenneth Moure
American Political Science Review
One of the best books I have read in years. . . . Simmons develops a novel, domestic explanation for the policy failures of the interwar period . . . [and] untangles the complicated web of the interwar international political economy. The book not only sets a new standard of research excellence, but it is required reading for all international political economists, as well as many comparativists and historians. . . . Who Adjusts? will certainly become a classic analysis of interwar economic policy.
— David A. Lake
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction 3
The Problem: Explaining International Economic Relations during the Interwar Years 4
The Argument of This Book 11
Toward an Explanation of the Policy Mix: Methodology and Organization 13
Findings 18
Ch. 2 The Interwar Gold Standard 20
The Prewar and Interwar Gold Standards 20
The Norms of Gold Standard Adjustment 31
Explaining Policy Choice during the Interwar Years 42
Ch. 3 The Determinants of External Imbalance 52
Politics, Credibility, and External Imbalance 52
Capital Movements 64
The Current Account 84
Ch. 4 Devaluation 106
Descriptive Statistics: Currency Depreciation 107
On Gold or Off? 112
Explaining Currency Depreciation 118
Domestic Politics and Currency Depreciation: The Evidence 125
Cumulative Results 138
Ch. 5 France, 1924-1927 140
The Real Economy 145
Cracks in Credibility 149
From a Crack to a Gulf, January 1925-July 1926 156
The Politics of Credibility 164
Ch. 6 Tariff Protection 174
Descriptive Statistics of Tariff Protection 175
Explaining Tariff Levels 178
Changes in Tariff Policy 191
Cumulative Results 214
Ch. 7 Deficits during Depression: Britain, Belgium, and France in the Thirties 219
Aggregate Introduction to the Cases and to the Policy Mix 223
The Case of Britain, 1929-1931 226
The Case of Belgium, 1934-1936 241
The Case of France, 1935-1937 256
Ch. 8 Conclusions 275
The Argument 276
Major Findings 278
Implications for International Cooperation 282
Implications for International Political Economy 283
Parting Words 286
Appendix I. General Data Appendix 289
Appendix II. Central Bank Independence Data 299
Select Bibliography 305
Index 319
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