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The Great U.K. Depression: A Puzzle and Possible Resolution

  • Harold L. Cole

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Lee E. Ohanian

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

The UK was depressed for 20 years between the two World Wars. The decrease in output was entirely due to lower hours per worker and lower employment. Our main finding is that generous unemployment benefits, in conjunction with large negative sectoral shocks, is the most plausible candidate explanation for this depression. We also find that the conventional Keynesian monetary story for this period is unconvincing. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.2001.0140
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 19-44

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:5:y:2002:i:1:p:19-44
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  1. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Re-Examining the Contributions of Money and Banking Shocks to the U.S. Great Depression," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 183-260 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Benjamin, Daniel K & Kochin, Levis A, 1982. "Unemployment and Unemployment Benefits in Twentieth-Century Britain: A Reply to Our Critics [Searching for an Explanation of Unemployment in Interwar Britain]," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 410-36, April.
  3. Eichengreen, Barry, 1987. "Unemployment in Interwar Britain: Dole or Doldrums?," CEPR Discussion Papers 207, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "The great U.K. depression: a puzzle and possible resolution," Staff Report 295, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
  6. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  7. Maki, Dennis R & Spindler, Zane A, 1975. "The Effect of Unemployment Compensation on the Rate of Unemployment in Great Britain," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 440-54, November.
  8. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
  9. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  10. Benjamin, Daniel K & Kochin, Levis A, 1979. "Searching for an Explanation of Unemployment in Interwar Britain," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 441-78, June.
  11. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1997. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 178, Stockholm School of Economics.
  12. Metcalf, David & Nickell, Stephen J & Floros, Nicos, 1982. "Still Searching for an Explanation of Unemployment in Interwar Britain," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 386-99, April.
  13. Cogan, John F, 1981. "Fixed Costs and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 945-63, June.
  14. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
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