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The Stock Market Crash Really Did Cause the Great Recession


  • Roger Farmer


This paper studies the connection between the stock market and the unemployment rate. I establish three facts. First, the log of the real value of the S&P 500 and the log of a logistic transformation of the unemployment rate are non-stationary cointegrated series. Second, the stock market Granger causes the unemployment rate. Third, the connection between changes in the real value of the stock market and changes in the unemployment rate has remained structurally stable over seventy years. My results establish that the fall in the stock market in the autumn of 2008 provides a plausible causal explanation for the magnitude of the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Farmer, 2013. "The Stock Market Crash Really Did Cause the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 19391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19391
    Note: EFG

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    Cited by:

    1. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Nicolò, Giovanni, 2018. "Keynesian economics without the Phillips curve," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 137-150.
    2. William N. Goetzmann & Dasol Kim, 2018. "Negative bubbles: What happens after a crash," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 24(2), pages 171-191, March.
    3. Farmer, Roger E.A., 2016. "The Evolution Of Endogenous Business Cycles," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 544-557, March.
    4. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 507-569.
    5. Sibande, Xolani & Gupta, Rangan & Wohar, Mark E., 2019. "Time-varying causal relationship between stock market and unemployment in the United Kingdom: Historical evidence from 1855 to 2017," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 81-88.
    6. Deniz Ilalan, 2018. "How US wages effect post-socialist European stock markets: an empirical study," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 7(4), pages 179-188.
    7. Georgios Mavropoulos & Theodore Panagiotidis, 2020. "Why Young Adults Retreat from Marriage? An Easterlin Relative Income Approach," Discussion Paper Series 2020_01, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Jan 2020.
    8. Roger Farmer, 2019. "The Importance of Beliefs in Shaping Macroeconomic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 26557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Platonov, Konstantin, 2019. "Animal spirits in a monetary model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 60-77.
    10. Wei-fong Pan, 2018. "Unemployment and confidence in Canada: Evidence from national and regional level data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(2), pages 1111-1123.
    11. Andrew Phiri, 2017. "The Unemployment-Stock Market Relationship in South Africa: Evidence from Symmetric and Asymmetric Cointegration Models," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 15(3 (Fall)), pages 231-254.
    12. Farmer, Roger E A, 2019. "The Indeterminacy School in Macroeconomics," CEPR Discussion Papers 13745, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Burkhard Raunig, 2019. "Background Indicators," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(2), pages 1-14, May.
    14. Pan, Wei-Fong, 2018. "Does the stock market really cause unemployment? A cross-country analysis," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 34-43.
    15. Roger E A Farmer, 2019. "The Indeterminacy Agenda in Macroeconomics," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 507, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    16. Hettihewa, Samanthala & Saha, Shrabani & Zhang, Hanxiong, 2018. "Does an aging population influence stock markets? Evidence from New Zealand," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 142-158.
    17. Riza Demirer & Guilherme Demos & Rangan Gupta & Didier Sornette, 2019. "On the predictability of stock market bubbles: evidence from LPPLS confidence multi-scale indicators," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(5), pages 843-858, May.
    18. 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:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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