IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/7546.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Depression Econometrics: A FAVAR Model of Monetary Policy During the Great Depression

Author

Listed:
  • Ritschl, Albrecht
  • Ahmadi, Pooyan Amir

Abstract

The prominent role of monetary policy in the U.S. interwar depression has been conventional wisdom since Friedman and Schwartz [1963]. This paper presents evidence on both the surprise and the systematic components of monetary policy between 1929 and 1933. Doubts surrounding GDP estimates for the 1920s would call into question conventional VAR techniques. We therefore adopt the FAVAR methodology of Bernanke, Boivin, and Eliasz [2005], aggregating a large number of time series into a few factors and inserting these into a monetary policy VAR. We work in a Bayesian framework and apply MCMC methods to obtain the posteriors. Employing the generalized sign restriction approach toward identification of Amir Ahmadi and Uhlig [2008], we find the effects of monetary policy shocks to have been moderate. To analyze the systematic policy component, we back out the monetary policy reaction function and its response to aggregate supply and demand shocks. Results broadly confirm the Friedman/Schwartz view about restrictive monetary policy, but indicate only moderate effects. We further analyze systematic policy through conditional forecasts of key time series at critical junctures, taken with and without the policy instrument. Effects are again quite moderate. Our results caution against a predominantly monetary interpretation of the Great Depression.

Suggested Citation

  • Ritschl, Albrecht & Ahmadi, Pooyan Amir, 2009. "Depression Econometrics: A FAVAR Model of Monetary Policy During the Great Depression," CEPR Discussion Papers 7546, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7546
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cepr.org/publications/DP7546
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Uhlig, Harald, 2005. "What are the effects of monetary policy on output? Results from an agnostic identification procedure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 381-419, March.
    2. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2005. "Implications of Dynamic Factor Models for VAR Analysis," NBER Working Papers 11467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2003. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1119-1215.
    4. Ben S. Bernanke & Kevin Carey, 1996. "Nominal Wage Stickiness and Aggregate Supply in the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 853-883.
    5. Hamilton, James D, 1992. "Was the Deflation during the Great Depression Anticipated? Evidence from the Commodity Futures Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 157-178, March.
    6. Christopher J. Erceg & Michael D. Bordo & Charles L. Evans, 2000. "Money, Sticky Wages, and the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1447-1463, December.
    7. Harold L. Cole & Ron Leung & Lee E. Ohanian, 2005. "Deflation and the international Great Depression: a productivity puzzle," Staff Report 356, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    8. Ritschl, Albrecht & Woitek, Ulrich, 2000. "Did Monetary Forces Cause the Great Depression?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2547, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2007. "Business Cycle Accounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 781-836, May.
    10. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
    11. Bernanke, Ben S. & Boivin, Jean, 2003. "Monetary policy in a data-rich environment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 525-546, April.
    12. Dominguez, Kathryn M & Fair, Ray C & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1988. "Forecasting the Depression: Harvard versus Yale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 595-612, September.
    13. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H., 1976. "The Phillips curve," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-18, January.
    14. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
    15. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-Augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422.
    16. 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.
    17. Harrison, Sharon G. & Weder, Mark, 2006. "Did sunspot forces cause the Great Depression?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1327-1339, October.
    18. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
    19. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    20. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, December.
    21. Albrecht Ritschl & Ulrich Woitek, "undated". "Did Monetary Forces Cause the Great Depression? A Bayesian VAR Analysis for the U.S. Economy," IEW - Working Papers 050, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    22. Kadiyala, K Rao & Karlsson, Sune, 1997. "Numerical Methods for Estimation and Inference in Bayesian VAR-Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 99-132, March-Apr.
    23. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    24. Ritschl, Albrecht & Ebell, Monique, 2007. "Real Origins of the Great Depression: Monopolistic Competition, Union Power, and the American Business Cycle in the 1920s," CEPR Discussion Papers 6146, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. 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.
    26. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Amir Ahmadi, Pooyan & Matthes, Christian & Wang, Mu-Chun, 2014. "Drifts, Volatilities and Impulse Responses Over the Last Century," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100562, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Pavon-Prado, David, 2019. "Have we been measuring monetary policy correctly? Analysing the Federal Reserve’s policies over the last century," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 28342, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    3. 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).
    4. Pooyan Amir Ahmadi & Harald Uhlig, 2015. "Sign Restrictions in Bayesian FaVARs with an Application to Monetary Policy Shocks," NBER Working Papers 21738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Alex Klein & Keisuke Otsu, 2013. "Efficiency, Distortions and Factor Utilization during the Interwar Period," Studies in Economics 1317, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    6. Helmut Lütkepohl, 2014. "Structural Vector Autoregressive Analysis in a Data Rich Environment: A Survey," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-004, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    7. Jalali-Naini , Ahmad. R. & Hemati , Maryam, 2012. "The Effect of Monetary Shocks on Disaggregated Prices in a Data Rich Environment: a Bayesian FAVAR Approach," Journal of Money and Economy, Monetary and Banking Research Institute, Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, vol. 6(4), pages 27-60, July.
    8. Fuentes-Albero, Cristina & Melosi, Leonardo, 2013. "Methods for computing marginal data densities from the Gibbs output," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 175(2), pages 132-141.
    9. Pooyan Amir‐Ahmadi & Christian Matthes & Mu‐Chun Wang, 2016. "Drifts and volatilities under measurement error: Assessing monetary policy shocks over the last century," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), pages 591-611, July.
    10. Ritschl, Albrecht & Sarferaz, Samad, 2009. "Crisis? What Crisis? Currency vs. Banking in the Financial Crisis of 1931," CEPR Discussion Papers 7610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Harald Uhlig & Pooyan Amir Ahmadi, 2012. "Measuring The Dynamic Effects Of Monetary Policy Shocks: A Bayesian Favar Approach With Sign Restriction," 2012 Meeting Papers 1060, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Herwartz, Helmut & Rohloff, Hannes, 2018. "Less bang for the buck? Assessing the role of inflation uncertainty for U.S. monetary policy transmission in a data rich environment," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 358, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    13. Pooyan Amir-Ahmadi & Gustavo S. Cortes & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2020. "Regional Monetary Policies and the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 26695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Dedu, Vasile & Stoica, Tiberiu, 2014. "The Impact of Monetaru Policy on the Romanian Economy," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(2), pages 71-86, June.
    15. Karau, Sören, 2020. "Buried in the vaults of central banks: Monetary gold hoarding and the slide into the Great Depression," Discussion Papers 63/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    16. Anthony Orlando, 2018. "Asset Markets, Credit Markets, and Inequality: Distributional Changes in Housing, 1970-2016," ERES eres2018_182, European Real Estate Society (ERES).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2003. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1119-1215.
    2. 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.
    3. Fabien Tripier, 2009. "Elasticity of factor substitution and the rise in labor's share of income during the Great Depression," Working Papers hal-00419343, HAL.
    4. Stijn Claessens & M Ayhan Kose, 2018. "Frontiers of macrofinancial linkages," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 95, July.
    5. Gabriel P. Mathy, 2020. "How much did uncertainty shocks matter in the Great Depression?," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 14(2), pages 283-323, May.
    6. Ritschl, Albrecht & Ebell, Monique, 2007. "Real Origins of the Great Depression: Monopolistic Competition, Union Power, and the American Business Cycle in the 1920s," CEPR Discussion Papers 6146, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Pavon-Prado, David, 2019. "Have we been measuring monetary policy correctly? Analysing the Federal Reserve’s policies over the last century," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 28342, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    8. Albrecht Ritschl & Monique Ebell, 2007. "Real Origins of the Great Depression: Monopoly Power, Unions and the American Business Cycle in the 1920s," 2007 Meeting Papers 712, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Dragan Tevdovski & Goran Petrevski & Jane Bogoev, 2019. "The effects of macroeconomic policies under fixed exchange rates: A Bayesian VAR analysis," Economic Research-Ekonomska Istraživanja, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 2138-2160, January.
    10. Bordo, Michael D. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1999. "Monetary policy regimes and economic performance: The historical record," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 149-234, Elsevier.
    11. Carlo A. Favero, 2007. "Model Evaluation in Macroeconometrics: from early empirical macroeconomic models to DSGE models," Working Papers 327, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    12. Ritschl, Albrecht & Sarferaz, Samad, 2009. "Crisis? What Crisis? Currency vs. Banking in the Financial Crisis of 1931," CEPR Discussion Papers 7610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Gregor W. Smith, 2006. "The spectre of deflation: a review of empirical evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1041-1072, November.
    14. Auer, Simone, 2019. "Monetary policy shocks and foreign investment income: Evidence from a large Bayesian VAR," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 142-166.
    15. Özer Karagedikli & Troy Matheson & Christie Smith & Shaun P. Vahey, 2010. "RBCs AND DSGEs: THE COMPUTATIONAL APPROACH TO BUSINESS CYCLE THEORY AND EVIDENCE," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 113-136, February.
    16. Petrevski, Goran & Exterkate, Peter & Tevdovski, Dragan & Bogoev, Jane, 2015. "The transmission of foreign shocks to South Eastern European economies: A Bayesian VAR approach," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 632-643.
    17. Barry Eichengreen, 2004. "Viewpoint: Understanding the Great Depression," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 37(1), pages 1-27, February.
    18. Christopher J. Erceg & Michael D. Bordo & Charles L. Evans, 2000. "Money, Sticky Wages, and the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1447-1463, December.
    19. Albrecht Ritschl & Ulrich Woitek, "undated". "Did Monetary Forces Cause the Great Depression? A Bayesian VAR Analysis for the U.S. Economy," IEW - Working Papers 050, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    20. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Re-Examining the Contributions of Money and Banking Shocks to the US Great Depression," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 183-260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bayesian favar; Dynamic factor model; Friedman schwartz hypothesis; Great depression; Monetary policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E47 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7546. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.