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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
Note: EFG
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  1. Roger E.A. Farmer, 2010. "Animal Spirits, Persistent Unemployment and the Belief Function," NBER Working Papers 16522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin Lettau & Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2011. "Shocks and Crashes," NBER Working Papers 16996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fitoussi, J-P & Jestaz, D. & Phelps, E.S. & Zoega, G., 2000. "Roots of the Recent Recoveries : Labor Reforms or Private-Sector Forces ?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2000-04, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  4. Farmer, Roger E A, 2000. "Natural Rate Doubts," CEPR Discussion Papers 2426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis in Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 2035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  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. 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. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E. A., 2003. "Identifying the monetary transmission mechanism using structural breaks," Working Paper Series 0275, European Central Bank.
  11. 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.
  12. Gomme, Paul & Ravikumar, B & Rupert, Peter, 2007. "The Return to Capital and the Business Cycle," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt8d5824r7, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  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. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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..
  16. 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.
  17. Farmer, Roger, 2010. "Expectations, Employment and Prices," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195397901.
  18. Roger E.A. Farmer, 2009. "Confidence, Crashes and Animal Spirits," NBER Working Papers 14846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  22. 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.
  23. Farmer, Roger, 2010. "How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes, and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195397918.
  24. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, October.
  25. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  26. Keith M. Carlson & Roger W. Spencer, 1975. "Crowding out and its critics," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Dec, pages 2-17.
  27. Roger E.A. Farmer (ed.), 2008. "Macroeconomics in the Small and the Large," Books, Edward Elgar, number 13236, March.
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