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

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  • Cecchetti, Stephen G
  • Karras, Georgios

Abstract

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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  • Cecchetti, Stephen G & Karras, Georgios, 1994. "Sources of Output Fluctuations during the Interwar Period: Further Evidence on the Causes of the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 80-102, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:76:y:1994:i:1:p:80-102
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    1. Hylleberg, S. & Engle, R. F. & Granger, C. W. J. & Yoo, B. S., 1990. "Seasonal integration and cointegration," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 215-238.
    2. 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 1057-1072, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-276, June.
    5. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
    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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