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Modeling Great Depressions: The Depression in Finland in the 1990s

  • Juan Carlos Conesa
  • Timothy J. Kehoe
  • Kim J. Ruhl

This paper is a primer on the great depressions methodology developed by Cole and Ohanian (1999, 2007) and Kehoe and Prescott (2002, 2007). We use growth accounting and simple dynamic general equilibrium models to study the depression that occurred in Finland in the early 1990s. We find that the sharp drop in real GDP over the period 1990-93 was driven by a combination of a drop in total factor productivity (TFP) during 1990-92 and of increases in taxes on labor and consumption and increases in government consumption during 1989-94, which drove down hours worked in Finland. We attempt to endogenize the drop in TFP in variants of the model with an investment sector and with terms-of-trade shocks but are unsuccessful.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13591.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Juan Carlos Conesa & Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2007. "Modeling great depressions: the depression in Finland in the 1990s," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Nov, pages 16-44.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13591
Note: EFG
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  1. Sergio Rebelo, 1999. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2114, David K. Levine.
  2. Correia, Isabel & Neves, Joao C. & Rebelo, Sergio, 1995. "Business cycles in a small open economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 1089-1113, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1994. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Data Appendix to The 1990s in Japan: A Lost Decade," Technical Appendices hayashi02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  6. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2007. "Are Shocks to the Terms of Trade Shocks to Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 13111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  8. Petri Böckerman & Jaakko Kiander, 2002. "Determination of Average Working Time in Finland," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 16(3), pages 557-568, 09.
  9. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  10. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and Market Work: Is Scandinavia an Outlier?," NBER Working Papers 12890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  12. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2005. "Sudden stops and output drops," Staff Report 353, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  15. Koskela , Erkki & Uusitalo , Roope, 2004. "Unintended convergence – how Finnish unemployment reached the European level," Research Discussion Papers 6/2004, Bank of Finland.
  16. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "The 1990s in Japan: a lost decade," Chapters, in: The Economics of an Ageing Population, chapter 2 Edward Elgar.
  17. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1992. "Recursive methods for computing equilibria of business cycle models," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 36, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim Ruhl, 2008. "Data Appendix to "Are Shocks to the Terms of Trade Shocks to Productivity?"," Technical Appendices 07-40, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  19. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
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