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The Finnish Great Depression: From Russia with Love

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Author Info

  • Gorodnichenko, Yuriy

    ()
    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Mendoza, Enrique G.

    ()
    (University of Maryland)

  • Tesar, Linda L.

    ()
    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

During the period 1991-93, Finland experienced the deepest economic downturn in an industrialized country since the 1930s. We argue that the culprit behind this Great Depression was the collapse of Finnish trade with the Soviet Union, because it induced a costly restructuring of the manufacturing sector and a sudden, large increase in the cost of energy. We develop and calibrate a multi-sector dynamic general equilibrium model with labor market frictions, and show that the collapse of Soviet-Finnish trade can explain key features of Finland's Great Depression. We also show that Finland's Great Depression mirrors the macroeconomic dynamics of the transition economies of Eastern Europe. These economies experienced a similar trade collapse. However, as a western democracy with developed capital markets and institutions, Finland faced none of the large institutional adjustments that other transition economies experienced. Thus, by studying the Finnish experience we isolate the adjustment costs due solely to the collapse of Soviet trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4113.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review 2012, 102(4), 1619-1643
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4113

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Keywords: reallocation; Soviet; trade; depression; business cycles; multi-sector model;

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References

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  1. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "The Finnish Great Depression: From Russia with Love," NBER Working Papers 14874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Petri Böckerman & Roope Uusitalo, 2006. "Erosion of the Ghent System and Union Membership Decline: Lessons from Finland," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 283-303, 06.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "The Finnish Great Depression: From Russia with Love," NBER Working Papers 14874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Freystätter , Hanna, 2012. "Essays on small open economy macroeconomics," Scientific Monographs, Bank of Finland E:43/2012, Bank of Finland.
  4. Yothin Jinjarak & Kanda Naknoi, 2010. "Real Exchange Rate Fluctuations, Wage Stickiness and Tradability," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1255, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  5. Andrey A. GNIDCHENKO, 2011. "Defragmentation Of Economic Growth With A Focus On Diversification: Evidence From Russian Economy," Theoretical and Practical Research in Economic Fields, ASERS Publishing, ASERS Publishing, vol. 0(1), pages 45-85, June.
  6. Nicoletta Batini & Luc Eyraud & Anke Weber, 2014. "A Simple Method to Compute Fiscal Multipliers," IMF Working Papers 14/93, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Pascal Michaillat, 2012. "Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1721-50, June.
  8. Jokivuolle, Esa & Pesola, Jarmo & Viren, Matti, 2013. "What drives loan losses in Europe?," Research Discussion Papers 6/2014, Bank of Finland.
  9. Bockerman, Petri & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2012. "Stature and life-time labor market outcomes: Accounting for unobserved differences," MPRA Paper 42220, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Böckerman, Petri & Laaksonen, Seppo & Vainiomäki, Jari, 2009. "Micro-level Rigidity vs. Macro-level Flexibility: Lessons from Finland," MPRA Paper 15061, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Kim, Sunghyun H. & Kose, M. Ayhan, 2014. "Welfare implications of trade liberalization and fiscal reform: A quantitative experiment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 198-209.

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