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Real Business Cycle Views of the Great Depression and Recent Events: A Review of Timothy J. Kehoe and Edward C. Prescott's Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century

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  • Peter Temin

Abstract

This book collects essays, most of which were published earlier, into an advertisement for real business cycle (RBC) analysis. Half of the essays discuss the Great Depression; half discuss events of the 1980s and 1990s. They all use the general equilibrium model of economic growth to analyze short-run fluctuations in the rate of economic growth of various countries. I find that the use of closed economy models without frictions is not useful for the analysis of short-run variations in the rate of economic growth. Almost all of these essays end by claiming that variations in the rate of GDP growth were due to changes in the rate of total factor productivity (TFP) growth. They do not provide any explanation for fluctuations in the rate of TFP growth, leaving the reader no closer to understanding these periods of depression and slow growth. I discuss in turn the essays on the Great Depression, the essays on more recent fluctuations, and the definition of "great depressions" used in this volume.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Temin, 2008. "Real Business Cycle Views of the Great Depression and Recent Events: A Review of Timothy J. Kehoe and Edward C. Prescott's Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 669-684, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:46:y:2008:i:3:p:669-84
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.46.3.669
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2007. "Macroeconomic Modeling for Monetary Policy Evaluation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 25-46, Fall.
    2. Christina D. Romer, 1993. "The Nation in Depression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 19-39, Spring.
    3. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1.
    4. Corbo, Vittorio, 1997. "Trade Reform and Uniform Import Tariffs: The Chilean Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 73-77, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Feinstein, Charles H. & Temin, Peter & Toniolo, Gianni, 2008. "The World Economy between the World Wars," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195307559.
    7. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott(), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Harrison, Sharon & Weder, Mark, 2009. "Technological change and the roaring twenties: A neoclassical perspective," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 363-375, September.
    2. Spahn Peter, 2009. "The New Keynesian Microfoundation of Macroeconomics," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 60(3), pages 181-203, December.
    3. Jon D. Wisman & Aaron Pacitti, 2013. "Ending the Crisis With Guaranteed Employment and Retraining," Working Papers 2013-12, American University, Department of Economics.
    4. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus: A Neoclassical Perspective," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-421, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    5. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2008. "Using the general equilibrium growth model to study great depressions: a reply to Temin," Staff Report 418, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    6. Nicholas Crafts & Peter Fearon, 2010. "Lessons from the 1930s Great Depression," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 285-317, Autumn.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical

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