Was the Great Depression a Low-Level Equilibrium?
AbstractWas the Great Depression the outcome of a massive coordination failure? Or was it a unique equilibrium response to adverse shocks? More generally, do aggregates fluctuate partly because agents occasionally settle on inferior, low-level equilibria? These questions lie at the heart of the current disagreement over how one should view business cycles. This paper estimates an employment model with monetary and real shocks. In one region of the parameter-space the model yields uniqueness, while in the other it yields up to three equilibria. When more than one equilibrium exists, a selection rule is needed. The equilibrium selection rule that we use has a Markovian structure, but the money supply is denied a coordination role -- it can not affect the choice of the equilibrium point. The global maximum likelihood estimates lie in the uniqueness region, implying that instead of being a low-level, coordination-failure equilibrium, the Depression era was caused by movements in fundamentals only. This result held for each of the three subperiods (since 1900) for which the estimation was done, but the estimates are imprecise and the conclusions that we draw from them are tentative. The paper also computes the local maxima in the region of multiplicity, and here some of our estimates indicate that the years 1932 and 1933 would have exhibited low level equilibria had more than one equilibrium existed.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3726.
Date of creation: Mar 1995
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996.
"Chaos, sunspots, and automatic stabilizers,"
214, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, sunspots, and automatic stabilizers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, Sunspots, and Automatic Stabilizers," NBER Working Papers 5703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2005. "Social interactions and macroeconomics," Working papers 5, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Alberto Bisin & Andrea Moro & Giorgio Topa, 2011.
"The empirical content of models with multiple equilibria in economies with social interactions,"
504, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Alberto Bisin & Andrea Moro & Giorgio Topa, 2011. "The Empirical Content of Models with Multiple Equilibria in Economies with Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 17196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher M. Cornell & Raphael H. Solomon, 2006. "Are Currency Crises Low-State Equilibria? An Empirical, Three-Interest-Rate Model," Working Papers 06-5, Bank of Canada.
- Huberto M. Ennis & Todd Keister, 2003. "Aggregate demand management with multiple equilibria," Working Paper 03-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- G J Bratsiotis & W Robinson, 2002.
"Economic Fundamentals and Self-Fulfilling Crises: Some Evidence from Mexico,"
The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series
0214, Economics, The University of Manchester.
- G J Bratsiotis & W Robinson, 2002. "Economic Fundamentals and Self-Fulfilling Crises: Some Evidence from Mexico," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 23, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
- Russell Cooper & Joao Ejarque, 1995. "Financial Intermediation and The Great Depression: A Multiple Equilibrium Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 5130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cornell, Christopher M. & Solomon, Raphael H., 2007. "Are currency crises low-state equilibria?: An empirical, three-interest-rate model," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 489-504.
- Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Are currency crises self-fulfilling?: A test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 263-286, November.
- Ratti, Ronald A. & Seo, Jeonghee, 2003. "Multiple equilibria and currency crisis: evidence for Korea," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 681-696, October.
- Michael Chui, 2002. "Leading indicators of balance-of-payments crises: a partial review," Bank of England working papers 171, Bank of England.
- Bratsiotis, George J. & Robinson, Wayne, 2004. "Economic fundamentals and self-fulfilling crises: further evidence from Mexico," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 595-613, June.
- Ennis, Huberto M. & Keister, Todd, 2005. "Optimal fiscal policy under multiple equilibria," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1359-1377, November.
- Ozkaya, Ata, 2013. "The Domestic Debt Intolerance and Bad Equilibrium: An Empirical Default Model," GIAM Working Papers 13-1, Galatasaray University Economic Research Center.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.