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Financial Shocks or Productivity Slowdown: Contrasting the Great Recession and Recovery in the United States and United Kingdom

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  • Kieran Larkin

Abstract

This article contrasts the experiences of the United States and United Kingdom during and after the Great Recession to understand the role of financial shocks in the magnitude of the crises and length of the recoveries. It starts from the common consensus that the Great Recession first and foremost was a financial crisis. It shows that relative to the United States, the Great Recession in the United Kingdom was more closely associated with a decline in productivity. Motivated by the similar behavior of financial variables at a business cycle frequency, it contrasts the behavior of the U.S. and U.K. economies through the lens of a simple real business cycle model augmented with financial shocks. A credit channel that operates on firm hiring decisions captures the magnitude of the output decline in both the United States and United Kingdom but exaggerates the response of the hours margin for the United Kindgom. The conclusion is that the financial channel supported in the U.S. data seems less appropriate for understanding the U.K. experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Kieran Larkin, 2021. "Financial Shocks or Productivity Slowdown: Contrasting the Great Recession and Recovery in the United States and United Kingdom," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 103(1), pages 99-126, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:90591
    DOI: 10.20955/r.103.99-126
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters, in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press.
    2. Reinhart, Karmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. ""This time is different": panorama of eight centuries of financial crises," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 77-114, March.
    3. Brinca, P. & Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, P.J. & McGrattan, E., 2016. "Accounting for Business Cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1013-1063, Elsevier.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 215-268, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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