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The Great Depression in Canada and the United States: A Neoclassical Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Pedro Amaral

    (University of Minnesota)

  • James C. MacGee

    (Unversity of Minnesota)

Abstract

Canada suffered a major depression from 1929 to 1939. In terms of output, it was similar to the Great Depression in the United States. However, total factor productivity (TFP) in Canada did not recover relative to trend, the in the United States TFP had revered by 1937. We find that the neoclassical growth model, with TFP treated as exogenous, can account for over half of the decline in output relative to trend in Canada. In contrast, we find that conventional explanations for the Great Depression - monetary shocks, terms of trade shocks and labor market and competition policies - do not work for Canada. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Amaral & James C. MacGee, 2002. "The Great Depression in Canada and the United States: A Neoclassical Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 45-72, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:5:y:2002:i:1:p:45-72
    DOI: 10.1006/redy.2001.0141
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    3. Don E. Schlagenhauf & Carlos Garriga & Matthew Chambers, 2011. "Did Housing Policies Cause the Post-War Boom in Homeownership? A General Equilibrium Analysis," 2011 Meeting Papers 1219, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Klein, Alexander & Otsuy, Keisuke, 2013. "Efficiency, Distortions and Factor Utilization during the Interwar Period," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 147, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Luca Pensieroso, 2007. "Real Business Cycle Models Of The Great Depression: A Critical Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 110-142, February.
    6. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2007. "Business Cycle Accounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 781-836, May.
    7. Juan Carlos Conesa & Pau S. Pujolas, 2019. "The Canadian productivity stagnation, 2002–2014," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(2), pages 561-583, May.
    8. Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2016. "The Postwar Conquest of the Home Ownership Dream," Working Papers 2016-07, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2016.
    9. Franck Portier, 2008. "Interprétation d'épisodes historiques à l'aide de modèles dynamiques stochastiques d'équilibre général," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(4), pages 33-46.
    10. Luca Pensieroso, 2011. "The Great Depression in Belgium from a Neoclassical Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 389-402, Arpil.
    11. Luca Pensieroso & Romain Restout, 2018. "The Gold Standard and the Great Depression: a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2018016, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    12. Ehsan U. Choudhri & Lawrence L. Schembri, 2013. "A Tale of Two Countries and Two Booms, Canada and the United States in the 1920s and the 2000s: The Roles of Monetary and Financial Stability Policies," Working Paper series 44_13, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    13. Suparna Chakraborty, 2005. "Real Estate Prices, Borrowing Constraints and Business Cycles -A Study of the Japanese Economy," Macroeconomics 0504012, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian & Ron Leung, 2005. "Deflation and the International Great Depression: A Productivity Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 11237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Giménez, Eduardo L. & Montero, María, 2015. "The Great Depression in Spain," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 200-214.
    16. Mark Weder, 2006. "The Role Of Preference Shocks And Capital Utilization In The Great Depression," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1247-1268, November.
    17. Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Prosperity and Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 1-15, May.
    18. Suparna Chakraborty, 2008. "Indian Economic Growth: Lessons for the Emerging Economies," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2008-67, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    19. Alex Klein & Keisuke Otsu, 2013. "Efficiency, Distortions and Factor Utilization during the Interwar Period," Studies in Economics 1317, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    20. Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Prosperity and Depression: 2002 Richard T. Ely Lecture," Working Papers 618, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    21. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2013. "The Impact of Cartelization, Money, and Productivity Shocks on the International Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 18823, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    23. Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2014. "Did Housing Policies Cause the Postwar Boom in Home Ownership?," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective, pages 351-385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Tasso Adamopoulos, 2008. "Land Inequality and the Transition to Modern Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 257-282, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Great Depression; Canada; productivity; terms of trade; deflation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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