Germany’s Dept Crisis during the period of the Weimar Republik, 1919 - 1933

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Schuker, Stephen A.
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The investigator analyses the combination of German public borrowing and public dept during the period of the Weimar Republic between 1919 and 1933. The capital flows are discussed in the framework of the political context. Long term credits are granted more and more by the bond market rather than by commercial banks. Germany rated as the largest single deptor of the 1920s, at first on official account, later on private account as well. The author points to Germany’s reparations obligations which stems from the First World War as a reason of the dept. He compares the effects of the reparations obligations on Germany’s balance of payment at that time with the effects of the enormous growth of energy prices during the 1970s (shock in the price of crude oil). Schuker shows in his study, that the German reparations obligations during the difficult period of the Weimar Republic have not been a barrier for the economic reconstruction after the lost World War I. “This study examines the considerations that led Germany to borrow in the United States and elsewhere. It explores the political constraints that inhibited the use of the capital inflow to generate export-led growth. It enlarges on the peculiarly nationalistic response in the Reich to the exogenous shocks that jolted the world economy in 1931. Finally, it traces the country’s subsequent descent from moratorium to willful default.” (Schuker 1988, S. 2) Germany’s reparation obligations have been seen in Germany in the context of the ‘German guilt of war controversy’. (see also WEB-page: „Dept generates controversy. The volume of German foreign borrowing, the deployment of the proceeds, and the domestic policies that made repayment seem infeasible reflected an intensely political process.” (Schuker 1988, S. 2) In the context of his investigation the primary researcher collected the following data on Germany’s National Account (Datatables can be downloaded via the search- and downloadsystem HISTAT, Topic: ‘State: public finances and taxes’ (in German: Thema: Staat: Finanzen und Steuern)): A.01 Deutsches Volkseinkommen und deutsche Staatsausgaben in Milliarden Goldmark und Reichsmark, 1925-1930 (Germany’s National Income and Germany’s Official Expenditures in Billion Goldmark and Reichsmark, 1925-1930) A.02 Deutschlands Staatsfinanzen: Aufstellung der Haushaltsberichte des Reiches von 1924-1930. (Germany’s State Finances: Budget Reports of the Reich, 1924 to 1930) A.03 Verteilung des deutschen Volkseinkommens zu Marktpreisen (konstante Preise von 1913), 1899-1959. (Distribution of the German National Income at Market Prices (constant Prices of 1913), 1899 to 1959). A.04 Verteilung des deutschen Volkseinkommens auf einzelne Bereiche (%), 1913, 1925-1931. (Distribution of German National Income between different branches in Percent, 1913 and 1925 to 1931) A.05 Relative Veränderung der deutschen Preise, Löhne, Gehälter und Renten (in % vom Vorjahr), 1925-1931 (Relative change of German Prices, Wages and Salaries, and Pension in Percent of the previous year), 1925 to 1931) A.06 Konsolidiertes Ausgabenkonto für alle Bereiche des deutschen Haushalts, 1925-1932 (Consolidated Expenditure Account in all Branches of the German State Budget, 1925 to 1932) A.07 Die deutsche Zahlungsbilanz (in Millionen Reichsmark), 1924-1933 (Germany’s Balance of Payment (in billion Reichsmark), 1924 to 1933) A.08 Deutschlands Auslandsschulden (in Milliarden Reichsmark zu laufenden Wechselkursen) (Germanys Foreign depts (in billion Reichsmark and in current exchange rates) A.09 Index der Lohnstückkosten in Handwerk und Industrie (1925-29=100), 1913-1938 (Index of Unit Labour costs in Handycraft and Industry (1925 to 1929=100), 1913 – 1938) A.10 Durchschnittliche Wochenarbeitszeit in Handwerk und Industrie, Deutschland und USA, 1913-1938 (Average weekly hours of work in Handycraft and Industry, Germany and USA, 1913 to 1938) A.11 Zahlungsbilanz der USA in Millionen Dollar, 1919-1935 (Balance of Payment in USA in billion Dollar, 1919 to 1935)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1919 / 1933
Geographic Coverage
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
    German Reich during the period of the Weimar Republic
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Text Unit
    Number of Units: 14
    Number of Variables: 147
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8537 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Schuker, Stephen A., 1988: American ‚Reparations‘ to Germany, 1919-33: Implications fort he Third-World Dept Crisis. Princeton Studies in International Finance, No. 61, July 1988. International Finance Section, Department of Economics, Princeton University.

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 85 | Registration Date: 2012-04-13