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"Liquidation" Cycles: Old-Fashioned Real Business Cycle Theory and the Great Depression

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  • J. Bradford De Long

Abstract

During the 1929-33 slide into the Great Depression, the Federal Reserve took almost no steps to keep the money supply or the price level stable. Instead, the Federal Reserve acted - disastrously - as if the gathering Great Depression could not be avoided, and was best endured. Such a liquidationist' theory of depressions was in fact common before the Keynesian Revolution, and was held and advanced by economists like Kayek and Schumpeter. This paper tries to reconstruct the logic of the liquidationist' view. It argues that the perspective was carefully thought out (although not adequate to the Depression), may hold some truth in other times and places, and could be the core of a more productive research program that currently popular real' business cycle theories.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3546.

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Date of creation: Dec 1990
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3546

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  1. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
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Cited by:
  1. Carlos Carreira & Paulino Teixeira, 2007. "Internal and External Restructuring over the Cycle: A Firm-Based Analysis of Gross Flows and Productivity Growth in Portugal," GEMF Working Papers 2007-01, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke, 2013. "A Century of US Central Banking: Goals, Frameworks, Accountability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 3-16, Fall.
  3. Caballero, Ricardo & Hammour, Mohamad, 1999. "The Cost of Recessions Revisited: A Reverse-Liquidationist View," CEPR Discussion Papers 2331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," NBER Working Papers 3922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Caballero, R-J & Hammour, M-L, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Specificity," Working papers 96-25, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Barry Eichengreen, 2002. "Still Fettered After All These Years," NBER Working Papers 9276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marcello M. Estevão & Tiago Severo, 2011. "Shocks, Financial Dependence, and Efficiency," IMF Working Papers 11/199, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Eichengreen, Barry, 1991. "Designing a Central Bank for Europe: A Cautionary Tale from the Early Years of the Federal Reserve System," CEPR Discussion Papers 585, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Daniel Kuehn, 2011. "A critique of Powell, Woods, and Murphy on the 1920–1921 depression," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 273-291, September.
  10. Mauro Boianovsky & Hans-Michael Trautwein, 2008. "Schumpeter on unemployment," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807181726240, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  11. Huovinen, Pasi & Piekkola, Hannu, 2001. "Unemployment and Early Retirements of the Aged Workers in Finland," Discussion Papers 750, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  12. Piekkola, Hannu & Böckerman, Petri, 2002. "On Whom Falls the Burden of Restructuring? Evidence from Finland," Discussion Papers 714, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  13. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2000. "Creative Destruction and Development: Institutions, Crises, and Restructuring," NBER Working Papers 7849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Free Huizinga & Peter Broer, 2004. "Wage moderation and labour productivity," CPB Discussion Paper 28, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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