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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. Farmer, Roger E A, 2010. "Animal Spirits, Persistent Unemployment and the Belief Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 8100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Roger E.A. Farmer & Dmitry Plotnikov, 2010. "Does Fiscal Policy Matter? Blinder and Solow Revisited," NBER Working Papers 16644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Hysteresis in unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 288-295.
  5. 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.
  6. Farmer, Roger, 2010. "Expectations, Employment and Prices," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195397901.
  7. Farmer, Roger, 2010. "How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes, and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195397918.
  8. 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.
  9. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  10. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E A, 2003. "Identifying the Monetary Transmission Mechanism Using Structural Breaks," CEPR Discussion Papers 4106, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Testing for Indeterminacy:An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 480, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
  12. 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.
  13. Roger E. A. Farmer, 2012. "Confidence, Crashes and Animal Spirits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 155-172, 03.
  14. 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.
  15. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Farmer, Roger E A, 2000. "Natural Rate Doubts," CEPR Discussion Papers 2426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. 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.
  20. Martin Lettau & Sydney Ludvigson, 2003. "Understanding Trend and Cycle in Asset Values: Reevaluating the Wealth Effect on Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Keith M. Carlson & Roger W. Spencer, 1975. "Crowding out and its critics," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Dec, pages 2-17.
  25. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  26. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, May.
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