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Understanding the Great Recession

Author

Listed:
  • Lawrence J. Christiano
  • Martin S. Eichenbaum
  • Mathias Trabandt

Abstract

We argue that the vast bulk of movements in aggregate real economic activity during the Great Recession were due to financial frictions interacting with the zero lower bound. We reach this conclusion looking through the lens of a New Keynesian model in which firms face moderate degrees of price rigidities and no nominal rigidities in the wage setting process. Our model does a good job of accounting for the joint behavior of labor and goods markets, as well as inflation, during the Great Recession. According to the model the observed fall in total factor productivity and the rise in the cost of working capital played critical roles in accounting for the small size of the drop in inflation that occurred during the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin S. Eichenbaum & Mathias Trabandt, 2014. "Understanding the Great Recession," International Finance Discussion Papers 1107, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Lawrence Christiano & Mathias Trabandt & Karl Walentin, 2021. "Involuntary Unemployment and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 39, pages 26-54, January.
    3. Ken Binmore & Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1986. "The Nash Bargaining Solution in Economic Modelling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 176-188, Summer.
    4. Saki Bigio, 2015. "Endogenous Liquidity and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(6), pages 1883-1927, June.
    5. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2011. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247, April.
    6. Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2014. "Labor Force Participation and Monetary Policy in the Wake of the Great Recession," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(S2), pages 3-49, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation; unemployment; labor force; zero lower bound;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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