Expectations and Forecasting during the Great Depression: Real-Time Evidence from the Business Press
How was the Great Depression viewed in real time? This paper yields a new perspective on this question by quantifying the qualitative statements of economic analysts in the business press and at the Federal Reserve Board. We compare the statements of economic analysts about current and future conditions to what actually happened to the American economy in the Great Depression. While Depression-era economic forecasters were able to accurately assess what was happening contemporaneously in the economy, forecasters were persistently optimistic that “the corner had been turned” and that a strong recovery was imminent even as the economy continued to decline. This optimism was based on the use of analogies and rules of thumb which were no longer applicable.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2016|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Monroe Hall #340, 2115 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052|
Phone: (202) 994-6150
Fax: (202) 994-6147
Web page: https://www2.gwu.edu/~forcpgm
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Balke, Nathan S & Petersen, D'Ann, 2002.
"How Well Does the Beige Book Reflect Economic Activity? Evaluating Qualitative Information Quantitatively,"
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 114-136, February.
- Balke, Nathan S. & Petersen, D'Ann M., 1998. "How well does the Beige Book reflect economic activity? Evaluating qualitative information quantitatively," Working Papers 9802, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
- Fildes, Robert & Stekler, Herman, 2002. "The state of macroeconomic forecasting," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 435-468, December.
- 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.
- Binder, Carola Conces, 2016. "Estimation of historical inflation expectations," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-31.
- Fildes, Robert & Stekler, Herman, 2002. "Reply to the comments on 'The state of macroeconomic forecasting'," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 503-505, December.
- Jalil, Andrew & Rua, Gisela, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Recovery from the Depression in 1933: Evidence from the Narrative Record," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Kathryn Lundquist & Herman O Stekler, 2012. "Interpreting the Performance of Business Economists During the Great Recession," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 148-154, April.
- Cecchetti, Stephen G, 1992. "Prices during the Great Depression: Was the Deflation of 1930-1932 Really Unanticipated?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 141-156, March.
- Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
- Klug, Adam & Landon-Lane, John S. & White, Eugene N., 2005. "How could everyone have been so wrong? Forecasting the Great Depression with the railroads," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-55, January.
- John Landon-Lane & Eugene N. White & Adam Klug, 2002. "How Could Everyone Have Been So Wrong? Forecasting the Great Depression with the Railroads," NBER Working Papers 9011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eugene N. White & John Landon-Lane & Adam Klug, 2002. "How Could Everyone Have Been So Wrong? Forecasting The Great Depression With The Railroads," Departmental Working Papers 200209, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Martha A. Starr, 2014. "Qualitative And Mixed-Methods Research In Economics: Surprising Growth, Promising Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 238-264, April.
- Robert Goldfarb & H. O. Stekler & Joel David, 2005. "Methodological issues in forecasting: Insights from the egregious business forecast errors of late 1930," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 517-542. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gwc:wpaper:2016-011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tara M. Sinclair)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.