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

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  • Roger E.A. Farmer

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger E.A. Farmer, 2011. "The Stock Market Crash of 2008 Caused the Great Recession: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 17479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17479
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E. A., 2003. "Identifying the monetary transmission mechanism using structural breaks," Working Paper Series 275, European Central Bank.
    2. Paul Gomme & B. Ravikumar & Peter Rupert, 2011. "The Return to Capital and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 262-278, April.
    3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    8. Keith M. Carlson & Roger W. Spencer, 1975. "Crowding out and its critics," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Dec, pages 2-17.
    9. Roger E.A. Farmer (ed.), 2008. "Macroeconomics in the Small and the Large," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13236.
    10. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2014. "Shocks and Crashes," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 293-354.
      • 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & David Jestaz & Edmund S. Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries: Labor Reforms or Private Sector Forces?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 237-311.
    13. Farmer, Roger E. A. & Plotnikov, Dmitry, 2012. "Does Fiscal Policy Matter? Blinder And Solow Revisited," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(S1), pages 149-166, April.
    14. 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.
    15. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
    17. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E.A., 2007. "Natural rate doubts," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 797-825, March.
    18. Farmer, Roger E A, 2010. "Animal Spirits, Persistent Unemployment and the Belief Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 8100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Farmer, Roger E. A., 2014. "How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199360307.
    20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    21. Blanchard, Olivier J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Hysteresis in unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 288-295.
    22. Farmer, Roger, 2010. "Expectations, Employment and Prices," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195397901.
    23. 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.
    24. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
    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. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-1580, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Juncal Cuñado & Luis A. Gil-Alana, 2013. "Modelling long-run trends and cycles in financial time series data," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 405-421, May.
    2. Jianjun Miao & Pengfei Wang & Lifang Xu, 2016. "Stock market bubbles and unemployment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 61(2), pages 273-307, February.
    3. Farmer, Roger E.A., 2016. "The Evolution Of Endogenous Business Cycles," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(02), pages 544-557, March.
    4. Laurent Ferrara & Clément Marsilli, 2013. "Financial variables as leading indicators of GDP growth: Evidence from a MIDAS approach during the Great Recession," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 233-237, February.
    5. Kydland, Finn E. & Zarazaga, Carlos E.J.M., 2016. "Fiscal sentiment and the weak recovery from the Great Recession: A quantitative exploration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 109-125.
    6. repec:eee:ememar:v:33:y:2017:i:c:p:140-154 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Makoto Nakajima, 2013. "The diverse impacts of the great recession," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 17-29.
    8. repec:eee:regeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:130-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:pri:cepsud:234kaplan is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Döpke, Jörg & Fritsche, Ulrich & Pierdzioch, Christian, 2017. "Predicting recessions with boosted regression trees," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 745-759.
    11. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2131 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Blau, Benjamin M., 2017. "Economic freedom and crashes in financial markets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 33-46.
    13. Hollander, Hylton & Liu, Guangling, 2016. "Credit spread variability in the U.S. business cycle: The Great Moderation versus the Great Recession," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 37-52.
    14. Choi, Sangyup & Loungani, Prakash, 2015. "Uncertainty and unemployment: The effects of aggregate and sectoral channels," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 344-358.
    15. Chatterjee, Ujjal K., 2016. "Do stock market trading activities forecast recessions?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 370-386.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment

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