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What - or Who - Started the Great Depression?

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  • Lee E. Ohanian

Abstract

Herbert Hoover. I develop a theory of labor market failure for the Depression based on Hoover's industrial labor program that provided industry with protection from unions in return for keeping nominal wages fixed. I find that the theory accounts for much of the depth of the Depression and for the asymmetry of the depression across sectors. The theory also can reconcile why deflation/low nominal spending apparently had such large real effects during the 1930s, but not during other periods of significant deflation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15258.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Publication status: published as Ohanian, Lee E., 2009. "What - or who - started the great depression?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2310-2335, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15258

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  1. Jacoby, Sanford M. & Sharma, Sunil, 1992. "Employment Duration and Industrial Labor Mobility in the United States, 1880–1980," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 161-179, March.
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  1. 笨蛋,問題在政治
    by Jia-Yuh in 普通人的自由主義 on 2011-05-26 15:53:00
  2. Did Keynes get it wrong?
    by paragwaknis in Musings of the Sorts on 2010-04-01 20:47:28
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Cited by:
  1. Hatton, Timothy J. & Thomas, Mark, 2010. "Labour Markets in the Interwar Period and Economic Recovery in the UK and the USA," CEPR Discussion Papers 7983, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Crafts, Nicholas; Fearon, Peter, 2010. "Lessons from the 1930s' Great Depression," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 23, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  3. Jon D. Wisman, 2013. "Labor Busted, Rising Inequality and the Financial Crisis of 1929: An Unlearned Lesson," Working Papers 2013-07, American University, Department of Economics.
  4. Alfonso Arpaia & Nicola Curci, 2010. "EU labour market behaviour during the Great Recession," European Economy - Economic Papers 405, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  5. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood, 2012. "The Rise and Fall of Unions in the U.S," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 19, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  6. Chicu, Mark & Vickers, Chris & Ziebarth, Nicolas L., 2013. "Cementing the case for collusion under the National Recovery Administration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 487-507.
  7. Guillermo A. Calvo & Fabrizio Coricelli & Pablo Ottonello, 2012. "Labor Market, Financial Crises and Inflation: Jobless and Wageless Recoveries," NBER Working Papers 18480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alex Klein & Keisuke Otsu, 2013. "Efficiency, Distortions and Factor Utilization during the Interwar Period," Studies in Economics 1317, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  9. repec:cge:warwcg:146 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Klein, Alexander & Otsuy, Keisuke, 2013. "Efficiency, Distortions and Factor Utilization during the Interwar Period," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 147, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  11. Lee E. Ohanian, 2010. "The Economic Crisis from a Neoclassical Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 45-66, Fall.
  12. Calvo, Guillermo & Coricelli, Fabrizio & Ottonello, Pablo, 2012. "The Labor Market Consequences of Financial Crises With or Without Inflation: Jobless and Wageless Recoveries," CEPR Discussion Papers 9218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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