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Modeling Great Depressions: The Depression in Finland in the 1990s

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  • Juan Carlos Conesa
  • Timothy J. Kehoe
  • Kim J. Ruhl

Abstract

This paper is a primer on the great depressions methodology developed by Cole and Ohanian (1999, 2007) and Kehoe and Prescott (2002, 2007). We use growth accounting and simple dynamic general equilibrium models to study the depression that occurred in Finland in the early 1990s. We find that the sharp drop in real GDP over the period 1990-93 was driven by a combination of a drop in total factor productivity (TFP) during 1990-92 and of increases in taxes on labor and consumption and increases in government consumption during 1989-94, which drove down hours worked in Finland. We attempt to endogenize the drop in TFP in variants of the model with an investment sector and with terms-of-trade shocks but are unsuccessful.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13591.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13591

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  1. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2005. "Sudden stops and output drops," Staff Report 353, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  3. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1992. "Recursive methods for computing equilibria of business cycle models," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 36, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  5. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and market work: is Scandinavia an outlier?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 59-85, July.
  6. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
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  8. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2007. "Are shocks to the terms of trade shocks to productivity?," Staff Report 391, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Koskela , Erkki & Uusitalo , Roope, 2004. "Unintended convergence – how Finnish unemployment reached the European level," Research Discussion Papers 6/2004, Bank of Finland.
  10. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim Ruhl, 2008. "Data Appendix to "Are Shocks to the Terms of Trade Shocks to Productivity?"," Technical Appendices 07-40, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  11. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  12. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  13. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557, Winter.
  14. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1995. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "The 1990s in Japan: A Lost Decade," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 206-235, January.
  16. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
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  18. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
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