IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Disentangling the Channels of the 2007-2009 Recession

  • James H. Stock
  • Mark W. Watson

This paper examines the macroeconomic dynamics of the 2007-09 recession in the United States and the subsequent slow recovery. Using a dynamic factor model with 200 variables, we reach three main conclusions. First, although many of the events of the 2007-2009 collapse were unprecedented, their net effect was to produce macro shocks that were larger versions of shocks previously experienced, to which the economy responded in an historically predictable way. Second, the shocks that produced the recession primarily were associated with financial disruptions and heightened uncertainty, although oil shocks played a role in the initial slowdown and subsequent drag was added by effectively tight conventional monetary policy arising from the zero lower bound. Third, while the slow nature of the recovery is partly due to the shocks of this recession, most of the slow recovery in employment, and nearly all of the slow recovery in output, is due to a secular slowdown in trend labor force growth.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18094.

in new window

Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Disentangling the Channels of the 2007-2009 Recession (with James Stock), Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2012, 81-135.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18094
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Domenico Giannone & Michèle Lenza & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2012. "Money, Credit, Monetary Policy and the Business Cycle in the Euro Area," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-008, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2013. "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1 - 56.
  3. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O, 2010. "Technology-Hours Redux: Tax Changes and the Measurement of Technology Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7962, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Refet Gürkaynak & Brian Sack, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 323, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. James D. Hamilton, 2009. "Causes and Consequences of the Oil Shock of 2007-08," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(1 (Spring), pages 215-283.
  6. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1996. "Do measures of monetary policy in a VAR make sense?," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 96-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Valerie A. Ramey & Daniel J. Vine, 2011. "Oil, Automobiles, and the U.S. Economy: How Much Have Things Really Changed?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25, pages 333-367 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Robert E. Hall, 2010. "Why Does the Economy Fall to Pieces after a Financial Crisis?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 3-20, Fall.
  10. Vladimir Yankov & Egon Zakrajsek & Simon Gilchrist, 2009. "Credit Market Shocks and Economic Fluctuations: Evidence from Corporate Bond and Stock Markets," 2009 Meeting Papers 514, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Breitung, Jörg & Eickmeier, Sandra, 2005. "Dynamic factor models," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,38, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  12. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense? A Reply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 943-48, November.
  13. Ben Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr S. Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422, January.
  14. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Sala, Luca, 2005. "Monetary Policy in Real Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 4981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    • Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Luca Sala, 2005. "Monetary Policy in Real Time," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 161-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. William F. Bassett & Mary Beth Chosak & John C. Driscoll & Egon Zakrajsek, 2012. "Changes in bank lending standards and the macroeconomy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-24, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-49, April.
  18. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2010. "After the Fall," NBER Working Papers 16334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2013. "The Dynamic Effects of Personal and Corporate Income Tax Changes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1212-47, June.
  20. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  21. Jonathan A. Parker, 2011. "On Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy in Recessions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 703-18, September.
  22. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-85, September.
  23. Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Two Models of Measurements and the Investment Accelerator," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-87, April.
  24. Lutz Kilian, 2008. "Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks: How Big Are They and How Much Do They Matter for the U.S. Economy?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 216-240, May.
  25. Bruce Fallick & Charles Fleischman & Jonathan Pingle, 2010. "The Effect of Population Aging on the Aggregate Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Labor in the New Economy, pages 377-417 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Lutz Kilian, 2008. "The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 871-909, December.
  27. Reinhart, Carmen, 2009. "The Second Great Contraction," MPRA Paper 21485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. Bruce C. Fallick & Jonathan F. Pingle, 2007. "The effect of population aging on aggregate labor supply in the United States," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, number 52.
  29. Jon Faust & Eric T. Swanson & Jonathan H. Wright, 2002. "Identifying vars based on high frequency futures data," International Finance Discussion Papers 720, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  30. Eo, Yunjong & Kim, Chang-Jin, 2012. "Markov-Switching Models with Evolving Regime-Specific Parameters: Are Post-War Booms or Recessions All Alike?," Working Papers 2012-04, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  31. JonasD.M. Fisher & Ryan Peters, 2010. "Using Stock Returns to Identify Government Spending Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 414-436, 05.
  32. Stephanie Aaronson & Bruce Fallick & Andrew Figura & Jonathan Pingle & William Wascher, 2006. "The Recent Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Implications for Potential Labor Supply," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(1), pages 69-154.
  33. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  34. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
  35. Hamilton, James D., 1996. "This is what happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 215-220, October.
  36. Sandra Eickmeier & Christina Ziegler, 2008. "How successful are dynamic factor models at forecasting output and inflation? A meta-analytic approach," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 237-265.
  37. James D. Hamilton, 2000. "What is an Oil Shock?," NBER Working Papers 7755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Robert E. Hall, 2011. "The Long Slump," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 431-69, April.
  39. Tobias Adrian & Paolo Colla & Hyun Song Shin, 2012. "Which Financial Frictions? Parsing the Evidence from the Financial Crisis of 2007-9," NBER Working Papers 18335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18094. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.