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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. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," Working papers 427, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & David Jestaz & Edmund S Phelps & Gylfi Zoega, 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries: Labor Reforms or Private Sector Forces?," Post-Print hal-01011185, HAL.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  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. Farmer, Roger E. A., 2014. "How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199360307, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2011. "Shocks and Crashes," NBER Working Papers 16996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Roger E. A. Farmer, 2011. "Confidence Crashes and Animal Spirits," 2011 Meeting Papers 603, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Farmer, Roger E A, 2010. "Animal Spirits, Persistent Unemployment and the Belief Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 8100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Paul Gomme & B. Ravikumar & Peter Rupert, 2006. "The return to capital and the business cycle," Working Paper 0603, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  18. 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.
  19. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis in Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 2035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, March.
  22. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E.A., 2007. "Natural rate doubts," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 797-825, March.
  23. 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.
  24. Farmer, Roger, 2010. "Expectations, Employment and Prices," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195397901, July.
  25. Roger E.A. Farmer (ed.), 2008. "Macroeconomics in the Small and the Large," Books, Edward Elgar, number 13236.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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