Mobility constraints, productivity trends, and extended crises
In this paper we propose an interpretation of the current Global Financial Crisis which emphasizes sectoral dislocation following localized technical change in the presence of barriers to labor mobility. This tale is reminiscent of a similar tale concerning the Great Depression. In the 30s technical change was localized in agriculture, where income fell because rising productivity could not be offset by a shrinking labor force due to the costs of moving out of agriculture for unemployed workers, inelastic demand for agricultural output meant that as output increased income declined. As individual incomes fell below the level necessary to finance the transition to manufacturing, excess labor became trapped in agriculture, reducing wages and exacerbating the rise in output. Shrinking incomes in agriculture reverberated on the other sectors, mainly manufacturing causing a large depression. Nowadays, it is manufacturing that plays the role of epicenter of technical change. Falling incomes in manufacturing yield a lack of demand for goods produced in the rest of the economy, namely the service sector. This may be the deep rooted cause of the long lasting slump and the painfully slow recovery.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
- Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1993.
"Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 77-114, February.
- Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521008051 is not listed on IDEAS
- Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2006.
"Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector,"
Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 1-46, 01.
- Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Thomas W. Bates & Kathleen M. Kahle & Rene M. Stulz, 2006.
"Why Do U.S. Firms Hold So Much More Cash Than They Used To?,"
NBER Working Papers
12534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas W. Bates & Kathleen M. Kahle & René M. Stulz, 2009. "Why Do U.S. Firms Hold So Much More Cash than They Used To?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 1985-2021, October.
- Bates, Thomas W. & Kahle, Kathleen M. & Stulz, Rene M., 2007. "Why Do U.S. Firms Hold So Much More Cash Than They Used To?," Working Paper Series 2006-17, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
- Swanson, J. A. & Williamson, S. H., 1972. "Estimates of national product and income for the United States economy, 1919-1941," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 53-73.
- Bernanke, B. & Gertler, M. & Gilchrist, S., 1998.
"The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework,"
98-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
- Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1998. "The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework," NBER Working Papers 6455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bruce Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2006. "Helping Infant Economies Grow: Foundations of Trade Policies for Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 141-146, May.
- Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2000.
"Do the rich save more?,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
2000-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973, April.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521810340 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:83:y:2012:i:3:p:375-393. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.