Creator: Cole, Harold Linh, 1957- and Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Great depressions of the twentieth century Abstract:
There are two striking aspects of the recovery from the Great Depression in the United States: the recovery was very weak and real wages in several sectors rose significantly above trend. These data contrast sharply with neoclassical theory, which predicts a strong recovery with low real wages. We evaluate whether New Deal cartelization policies designed to limit competition among firms and increase labor bargaining power can account for the persistence of the Depression. We develop a model of the intraindustry bargaining process between labor and firms that occurred with these policies, and embed that model within a multi-sector dynamic general equilibrium model. We find that New Deal cartelization policies are an important factor in accounting for the post-1933 Depression. We also find that the key depressing element of New Deal policies was not collusion per se, but rather the link between paying high wages and collusion.
Stichwort: New Deal, Great Depression, Competition, Cartels, Wages, and Collective bargaining Fach: D50 - General equilibrium and disequilibrium - General and J58 - Labor-management relations, trade unions, and collective bargaining - Public policy
Creator: Perri, Fabrizio. and Quadrini, Vincenzo. Series: Great depressions of the twentieth century Abstract:
We analyze the Italian economy in the interwar years. In Italy, as in many other countries, the years immmediately after 1929 were characterized by a major slowdown in economic activity as non farm output declined almost 12. We argue that the slowdown cannot be explained solely by productivity shocks and that other factors must have contributed to the depth and duration of the the 1929 crisis. We present a model in which trade restrictions together with wage rigidities produce a slowdown in economic activity that is consistent with the one observed in the data. The model is also consistent with evidence from sectorial disaggregated data. Our model predicts that trade restrictions can account for about 3/4 of the observed slowdown while wage rigidity (monetary shocks) can account for the remaining fourth.
Stichwort: Depressions, Trade restrictions, Italy, and Wage rigidity Fach: N14 - Macroeconomics and monetary economics ; Growth and fluctuations - Europe : 1913- and E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles
Creator: Beaudry, Paul. and Portier, Franck. Series: Great depressions of the twentieth century Abstract:
In this paper we make the following three claims. (1), in contradiction with the conventional view according to which the French depression was very different to that observed in the US, we argue that there are more similarities than differences between the French and U.S. experiences and therefore a common explanation should be sought. (2), poor growth in technological opportunities appear neither necessary nor sufficient to account for the French depression. (3), changes in institutional and market regulation appear necessary to account for the overall changes observed over the period. Moreover, we show that the size of these institutional changes may by themselves be enough to quantatively explain the French depression. However, at this time, we have no theory to explain the size or the timing of these changes.
Stichwort: France, Market regulation, Stagnation, and Depression Fach: N14 - Macroeconomics and monetary economics ; Growth and fluctuations - Europe : 1913- and E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy J. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff Report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Dept.) Number: 418 Abstract:
Three of the arguments made by Temin (2008) in his review of Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century are demonstrably wrong: that the treatment of the data in the volume is cursory; that the definition of great depressions is too general and, in particular, groups slow growth experiences in Latin America in the 1980s with far more severe great depressions in Europe in the 1930s; and that the book is an advertisement for the real business cycle methodology. Without these three arguments — which are the results of obvious conceptual and arithmetical errors, including copying the wrong column of data from a source — his review says little more than that he does not think it appropriate to apply our dynamic general equilibrium methodology to the study of great depressions, and he does not like the conclusion that we draw: that a successful model of a great depression needs to be able to account for the effects of government policy on productivity.
In 2008, Peter Temin wrote a review of the book that appeared in the Journal of Economic Literature. This staff report and accompanying data file are in response to the review.
Citation for review: Temin, Peter. 2008. "Real Business Cycle Views of the Great Depression and Recent Events: A Review of Timothy J. Kehoe and Edward C. Prescott's Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century." Journal of Economic Literature, 46 (3): 669-84. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1257/jel.46.3.669
Creator: Mulligan, Casey B. Series: Great depressions of the twentieth century Abstract:
I prove some theorems for competitive equilibria in the presence of distortionary taxes and other restraints of trade, and use those theorems to motivate an algorithm for (exactly) computing and empirically evaluating competitive equilibria in dynamic economies. Although its economics is relatively sophisticated, the algorithm is so computationally economical that it can be implemented with a few lines in a spreadsheet. Although a competitive equilibrium models interactions between all sectors, all consumer types, and all time periods, I show how my algorithm permits separate empirical evaluation of these pieces of the model and hence is practical even when very little data is available. For similar reasons, these evaluations are not particularly sensitive to how data is partitioned into "trends" and "cycles." I then compute a real business cycle model with distortionary taxes that fits aggregate U.S. time series for the period 1929-50 and conclude that, if it is to explain aggregate behavior during the period, government policy must have heavily taxed labor income during the Great Depression and lightly taxed it during the war. In other words, the challenge for the competitive equilibrium approach is not so much why output might change over time, but why the marginal product of labor and the marginal value of leisure diverged so much and why that wedge persisted so long. In this sense, explaining aggregate behavior during the period has been reduced to a public finance question - were actual government policies distorting behavior in the same direction and magnitude as government policies in the model?
Stichwort: Depressions, Competitive equilibrium models, Taxes, and World War 2 Fach: H30 - Fiscal policies and behavior of economic agents - General, C68 - Mathematical methods and programming - Computable general equilibrium models, and E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles
Creator: Green, Edward J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Dept.) Number: 501 Abstract:
I consider two theories of the determination of political institutions. One of these theories stresses effects of changes in the balance of military power between the ruler and subjects on the distribution of property rights which the political system enforces. The other theory emphasizes the effect of changing informational constraints which require institutional changes to be made in order to maintain efficiency. I examine how each of these theories would apply to explaining the development of parliamentary government in thirteenth-century England. My general conclusion is that both theories are required to understand fully the process by which liberal political institutions emerge.
Stichwort: Great Britain, England, History, and Government Fach: H11 - Structure and scope of government - Structure, scope, and performance of government and N43 - Government, war, law, and regulation - Europe : Pre-1913