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Sources of Output Fluctuations during the Interwar Period: Further Evidence on the Causes of the Great Depression

  • Cecchetti, Stephen G
  • Karras, Georgios

This paper decomposes output fluctuations during the 1913 to 1940 period into components resulting from aggregate supply and aggregate demand shocks. We estimate a number of structural models, all of which yield qualitatively similar results. While identification is normally achieved by assuming that aggregate demand shocks have no long-run real effects, we also estimate models that allow demand shocks to permanently affect output. Our findings support the following three conclusions: (1) there was a large negative aggregate demand shock in November 1929, immediately after the stock market crash; (2) aggregate demand shocks are largely responsible for the decline in output through mid-1931; and (3) beginning in mid-1931 there is an aggregate supply collapse that coincides with the onset of severe bank panics. Copyright 1994 by MIT Press.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics & Statistics.

Volume (Year): 76 (1994)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 80-102

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:76:y:1994:i:1:p:80-102
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  1. Joseph Beaulieu, J. & Miron, Jeffrey A., 1993. "Seasonal unit roots in aggregate U.S. data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1-2), pages 305-328.
  2. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
  3. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  4. Hyllerberg, S. & Engle, R.F. & Granger, C.W.J. & Yoo, B.S., 1988. "Seasonal Integration And Cointegration," Papers 0-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Non-Monetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in the Propagation of the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 1054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert J. Gordon & James A. Wilcox, 1978. "Monetarist Interpretations of the Great Depression: An Evaluation and Critique," NBER Working Papers 0300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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