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Re-Examining the Role of Sticky Wages in the U.S. Great Contraction: A Multisectoral Approach

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  • Amaral, Pedro S.

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

  • MacGee, James

    (Western University)

Abstract

We quantify the role of contractionary monetary shocks and nominal wage rigidities in the U.S. Great Contraction. In contrast to conventional wisdom, we find that the average economy-wide real wage varied little over 1929–33, although real wages rose significantly in some industries. Using a two-sector model with intermediates and nominal wage rigidities in one sector, we find that contractionary monetary shocks can account for only a quarter of the fall in GDP, and as little as a fifth at the trough. Intermediate linkages play a key role, as the output decline in our benchmark is roughly half as large as in a two-sector model without intermediates.

Suggested Citation

  • Amaral, Pedro S. & MacGee, James, 2009. "Re-Examining the Role of Sticky Wages in the U.S. Great Contraction: A Multisectoral Approach," Working Paper 0911, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 18 Mar 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0911 Note: A multi-sectoral approach to the U.S. Great Depression (2009)
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. A multi-sectoral approach to the U.S. Great Depression
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2010-02-08 07:58:23

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Depressions; Wages; Prices;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

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