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The Stock Market Crash of 2008 Caused the Great Recession: Theory and Evidence

  • Roger E.A. Farmer

This paper argues that the stock market crash of 2008, triggered by a collapse in house prices, caused the Great Recession. The paper has three parts. First, it provides evidence of a high correlation between the value of the stock market and the unemployment rate in U.S. data since 1929. Second, it compares a new model of the economy developed in recent papers and books by Farmer, with a classical model and with a textbook Keynesian approach. Third, it provides evidence that fiscal stimulus will not permanently restore full employment. In Farmer's model, as in the Keynesian model, employment is demand determined. But aggregate demand depends on wealth, not on income.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17479.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17479.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Publication status: published as Farmer, Roger E.A., 2012. "The stock market crash of 2008 caused the Great Recession: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 693-707.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17479
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  1. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & David Jestaz & Edmund S Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries: Labor Reforms or Private Sector Forces?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5571, Sciences Po.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  3. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-80, November.
  4. Thomas A. Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 190-217, March.
  5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Farmer, Roger, 2010. "How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes, and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195397918, December.
  7. Edmund S. Phelps, 1999. "Behind This Structural Boom: The Role of Asset Valuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 63-68, May.
  8. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Farmer, Roger E.A., 2010. "How to reduce unemployment: A new policy proposal," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 557-572, July.
  10. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2005. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 92, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  11. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E. A., 2003. "Identifying the monetary transmission mechanism using structural breaks," Working Paper Series 0275, European Central Bank.
  12. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Understanding Trend and Cycle in Asset Values: Reevaluating the Wealth Effect on Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 276-299, March.
  13. Farmer, Roger E A, 2010. "Animal Spirits, Persistent Unemployment and the Belief Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 8100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Paul Gomme & B. Ravikumar & Peter Rupert, 2006. "The return to capital and the business cycle," Working Paper 0603, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  16. Blanchard, Olivier J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Hysteresis in unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 288-295.
  17. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
  18. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2013. "Shocks and Crashes," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2013, Volume 28, pages 293-354 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E. A., 2002. "Natural rate doubts," Working Paper Series 0121, European Central Bank.
  20. Keith M. Carlson & Roger W. Spencer, 1975. "Crowding out and its critics," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Dec, pages 2-17.
  21. Farmer, Roger E A & Plotnikov, Dmitry, 2011. "Does Fiscal Policy Matter? Blinder and Solow Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 8189, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Roger E.A. Farmer (ed.), 2008. "Macroeconomics in the Small and the Large," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13236, 8.
  23. Farmer, Roger, 2010. "Expectations, Employment and Prices," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195397901, December.
  24. Laurence Ball, 1999. "Aggregate demand and Long-Run Unemployment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 189-252.
  25. Hoon, Hian Teck & Phelps, Edmund S, 1992. "Macroeconomic Shocks in a Dynamized Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 889-900, September.
  26. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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