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Real Business Cycle Models of the Great Depression



    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and FNRS)


This paper presents and assesses the recent application of models in the Real Business Cycle (RBC) tradition to the analysis of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The main conclusion is that the breaking of the depression taboo has been a desirable completion of the cliometric revolution: no historic event should be exempt from a dispassionate quantitative analysis. On the other hand, the substantive contribution of RBC models is not yet sufficient to establish a new historiography of the Great Depression.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca PENSIEROSO, 2009. "Real Business Cycle Models of the Great Depression," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2009034, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2009034

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    3. Michel, DE VROEY, 2005. "Involuntary Unemployment : the Elusive Quest for a Theory," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005004, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    4. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133, June.
    5. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2008. "Using the general equilibrium growth model to study great depressions: a reply to Temin," Staff Report 418, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    8. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
    9. repec:hrv:faseco:30703876 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. De Vroey Michel R & Pensieroso Luca, 2006. "Real Business Cycle Theory and the Great Depression: The Abandonment of the Abstentionist Viewpoint," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-26, November.
    11. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, January.
    12. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott(), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thierry Aimar & Francis Bismans & Claude Diebolt, 2010. "Le cycle économique : une synthèse," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 24(4), pages 3-65.
    2. 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.
    3. Claude DIEBOLT & Antoine PARENT & Jamel TRABELSI, 2012. "Revisiting the 1929 Crisis : Was the Fed Pre-Keynesian ? New Lessons from the Past," Historical Social Research (Section 'Cliometrics'), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 37(2), pages 280-297.
    4. Konstantakis, Konstantinos N. & Michaelides, Panayotis G., 2017. "Technology and Business Cycles: A Schumpeterian Investigation for the USA," MPRA Paper 80636, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Claude Diebolt & Antoine Parent & Jamel Trabelsi, 2010. "Expansionary Monetary Policy Under Liquidity Trap: 2009 in Light of 1929. A Counterfactual Analysis," Working Papers 10-07, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).

    More about this item


    Great Depression; Real Business Cycle; Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium; Cliometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods

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