Causes of the Great Depression | National Humanities Center

Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

Causes of the Great Depression

Colin Gordon (Professor of History, University of Iowa)

March 14, 2013

Instead of “what caused the Great Depression,” we devote our attention to “what made the Great Depression ‘great'”? There are three key elements of this problem: 1) the failure of wages to keep pace with productive capacity; 2) the failure of trade policy to keep pace with economic change; and 3) the absence of a social safety net, which ensured that any hiccup in business confidence would spiral into a larger and longer crisis.


Economics / History / Great Depression / American History / Interwar Period / Economic History /