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Changes in Economic Instability in 19th-Century America

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  • James, John A

Abstract

In contrast to the twentieth century, over the nineteenth century economic fluctuations became increasingly severe. This paper uses a structural vector autoregression estimated on ante- and postbellum data to distinguish the influences of changes in the nature or magnitude of the disturbances from those of changes in the response of the system to shocks (i.e., changes in structure) in contributing to this increased economic instability. The increased cyclical severity in the postbellum period is found to have been the result of greater sensitivity to monetary disturbances, rather than of larger or more volatile shocks. Copyright 1993 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • James, John A, 1993. "Changes in Economic Instability in 19th-Century America," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 710-731, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:83:y:1993:i:4:p:710-31
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    Cited by:

    1. John A. James & Michael G. Palumbo & Mark Thomas, 2007. "Consumption smoothing among working-class American families before social insurance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 606-640, October.
    2. Craighead, William D. & Tien, Pao-Lin, 2015. "Nominal shocks and real exchange rates: Evidence from two centuries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 135-157.
    3. Charles W. Calomiris & Christopher Hanes, 1994. "Historical Macroeconomics and American Macroeconomic History," NBER Working Papers 4935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rogers, John H. & Wang, Ping, 1995. "Output, inflation, and stabilization in a small open economy: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 271-293, April.
    5. A. E. Akinlo & A. F. Odusola, 2003. "Assessing the impact of Nigeria's naira depreciation on output and inflation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 691-703.
    6. Keating, John W. & Nye, John V., 1999. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances in the G7 Countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 263-278, April.
    7. Joseph Davis & Vanguard Group; Christopher Hanes, 2004. "Primary Sector Shocks and Early American Industrialization," 2004 Meeting Papers 154, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Karras, Georgios & Lee, Jin Man & Stokes, Houston, 2006. "Why are postwar cycles smoother? Impulses or propagation?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(5-6), pages 392-406.
    9. Kyongwook Choi & Chulho Jung, 2008. "The Sources Of The Decline In U.S. Output Volatility," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 132-144, January.
    10. John Simon, 2001. "The Decline in Australian Output Volatility," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2001-01, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    11. Claudia M. Buch & Joerg Doepke & Christian Pierdzioch, 2004. "Business Cycle Volatility in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(4), pages 451-479, November.
    12. Perez, Stephen J. & Siegler, Mark V., 2006. "Agricultural and monetary shocks before the great depression: A graph-theoretic causal investigation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 720-736, December.
    13. Chulho Jung & Jay E. Ryu, 2016. "Government Failure Redux: Why Did Federal Spending Lose Stimulative Traction?," EcoMod2016 9707, EcoMod.

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