The German Railways - The Economic and Political Feasibility of Fiscal Reforms During the Inflation of the Early 1920s

Feb 1997 | 013

Authors: Norbet Paddags


The importance of fiscal policy for the inflationary process in Germany in the early 1920s has long been recognised, and at the same time the room for reform has been viewed as very limited. This paper will address this question anew by away of counterfactual analysis. Taking the railways - which contributed significantly to the Reich budget deficit - as an example, various areas of possible reform will be discussed on the basis of contemporary sources, including parliamentary debates. It will be argued that although the traditional opinion about the limits of political reform are confirmed, the economic room for manoeuvre was significantly greater than is often assumed.


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