Macroeconomic Crises since 1870
We build on the Maddison GDP data to assemble international time series from before 1914 on real per capita personal consumer expenditure, C. We also improve the GDP data in many cases. The C variable comes closer than GDP to the consumption concept that enters into usual asset-pricing equations. (A separation of consumer expenditure into durables and non-durables is feasible for only a minority of cases.) We have essentially full annual data on C for 22 countries and GDP for 35 countries, and we plan to complete the long-term time series for a few more countries. For samples that start as early as 1870, we apply a peak-to-trough method for each country to isolate economic crises, defined as cumulative declines in C or GDP by at least 10%. The principal world economic crises ranked by importance are World War II, World War I and the Great Depression, the early 1920s (possibly reflecting the influenza epidemic of 1918-20), and post-World War II events such as the Latin American debt crisis and the Asian financial crisis. We find 87 crises for C and 148 for GDP, implying disaster probabilities around 3.6% per year. The disaster size has a mean of 21-22% and an average duration of 3.5 years. A comparison of C and GDP declines shows roughly coincident timing. The average fractional decline in C exceeds that in GDP during wartime crises but is similar for non-war crises. We simulate a Lucas-tree model with i.i.d. growth shocks and Epstein-Zin-Weil preferences. This simulation accords with the observed average equity premium of around 7% on levered equity, using a "reasonable" coefficient of relative risk aversion of 3.5. This result is robust to a number of perturbations, except for limiting the sample to non-war crises, a selection that eliminates most of the largest declines in C and GDP. We plan a statistical analysis that uses all the time-series data and includes estimation of long-run effects of crises on levels and growth rates of C and GDP. We will also study the bond-bill premium (empirically around 1%) and allow for time-varying disaster probabilities.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Robert J. Barro & Jose F. Ursua, 2008. "Macroeconomic Crises since 1870," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 255-350.|
|Note:||EFG ME PE AP|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Xavier Gabaix, 2012.
"Variable Rare Disasters: An Exactly Solved Framework for Ten Puzzles in Macro-Finance,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 645-700.
- Xavier Gabaix, 2008. "Variable Rare Disasters: An Exactly Solved Framework for Ten Puzzles in Macro-Finance," NBER Working Papers 13724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Caselli, F. & Ventura, J., 1996.
"A Representative Consumer Theory of Distribution,"
96-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Benoit Mandelbrot, 1963. "The Variation of Certain Speculative Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 394.
- Cogley, T., 1989.
"International Evidence On The Size Of The Random Walk In Output,"
89-02, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
- Cogley, Timothy, 1990. "International Evidence on the Size of the Random Walk in Output," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 501-18, June.
- Cogley, T., 1989. "International Evidence On The Size Of The Random Walk In Output," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 89-02, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
- Philippe Weil, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42.
- Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
- R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010.
"The equity premium: a puzzle,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1401, David K. Levine.
- Cogley, Timothy & Sargent, Thomas J., 2008. "The market price of risk and the equity premium: A legacy of the Great Depression?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 454-476, April.
- Romer, Christina D, 1986. "Is the Stabilization of the Postwar Economy a Figment of the Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 314-34, June.
- Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae, 2006.
"On the aggregate welfare cost of Great Depression unemployment,"
06-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Chatterjee, Satyajit & Corbae, Dean, 2007. "On the aggregate welfare cost of Great Depression unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1529-1544, September.
- Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
- Robert J. Barro, 2006.
"Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 823-866.
- Barro, Robert, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 3208215, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "Subjective Expectations and Asset-Return Puzzles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1102-1130, September.
- Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2007.
"Rank-1/2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2011. "Rank - 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39, January.
- Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
- Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13940. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.