Economic Disasters of the Twentieth Century

Economic Disasters of the Twentieth Century


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How do we define an economic disaster? A difficult question. Most centuries would claim that they have had their share of disasters, but the twentieth century certainly seems to have been more prone to them than the previous one. A number of leading economists and economic historians assemble here to examine nine key disasters with international or global implications.

The First and Second World Wars, the great depression, oil shocks, inflation, financial crises, stock market crashes, the collapse of the Soviet command economy and Third World disasters are discussed in this comprehensive book. The contributors subject these disasters to in-depth assessment, carefully considering their costs and impact on specific countries and regions, as well as assessing them in a global context. The book examines the legacy of economic disasters and asks whether economic disasters are avoidable or whether policymakers can learn from their mistakes.

The book will appeal to a wide variety of social scientists, including those working in economic history, international relations, international political economy and geopolitics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848441583
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/2008
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Edited by Michael J. Oliver, Professor of Economics, ESC Rennes School of Business, France and Associate of Lombard Street Research and Derek H. Aldcroft, Fellow, University of Leicester, UK

Table of Contents



M.J. Oliver and D.H. Aldcroft

1. ‘Destruction. . . and Misery’: The First World War

J. Singleton

2. The Great Depression, 1929–33

W.R. Garside

3. The Second World War as an Economic Disaster

N. Ferguson

4. The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of OPEC

M. Beenstock

5. Inflation in the Twentieth Century

F.H. Capie

6. Financial Crises

M.J. Oliver

7. Stock Market Crashes

G.E. Wood

8. The Demise of the Command Economies in the Soviet Union and its Outer Empire

S. Morewood

9. The Fatal Inversion: The African Growth Disaster

D.H. Aldcroft


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