IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Slow Recovery in Output after 2009


  • Robert Hall

    (Stanford University)

  • Mark Watson

    (Princeton University)

  • James Stock


  • John Fernald

    (FRB San Francisco)


The U.S. economy has been expanding slowly since the recession trough in 2009. Though unemployment has declined at about the same rate as in previous recoveries, output has grown much more slowly than in the past. We explore explanations for the shortfall in output growth, using a quantitative decomposition based on growth economics. Two components of the decomposition stand out: slow growth in productivity, and a growing shortfall of labor-force participation relative to its demographic determinants. The slow growth in both components predated the recession. Our analysis gives a full treatment to cyclical effects. Our conclusion is that powerful non-cyclical forces at least partially unrelated to the financial crisis of 2008 account for the poor record of output growth during the ongoing recovery from the crisis-induced recession. This combination of the adverse cyclical influence, and the noncyclical forces we study, resulted in a shortfall of capital formation that holds back output even today.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Hall & Mark Watson & James Stock & John Fernald, 2017. "The Slow Recovery in Output after 2009," 2017 Meeting Papers 610, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:610

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lee, Bong-Soo & Ingram, Beth Fisher, 1991. "Simulation estimation of time-series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 197-205, February.
    2. Duffie, Darrell & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1993. "Simulated Moments Estimation of Markov Models of Asset Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 929-952, July.
    3. Kim, Jinill & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2011. "Monetary policy when wages are downwardly rigid: Friedman meets Tobin," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2064-2077.
    4. Martin M. Andreasen & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2013. "The Pruned State-Space System for Non-Linear DSGE Models: Theory and Empirical Applications," CREATES Research Papers 2013-12, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    5. Kim, Jinill & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2009. "How much inflation is necessary to grease the wheels?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 365-377, April.
    6. Abbritti, Mirko & Fahr, Stephan, 2013. "Downward wage rigidity and business cycle asymmetries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 871-886.
    7. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
    8. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland, 2012. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models: Should Central Banks Raise Their Inflation Targets in Light of the Zero Lower Bound?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1371-1406.
    9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2016. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity, Currency Pegs, and Involuntary Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(5), pages 1466-1514.
    10. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco, 2012. "Estimating nonlinear DSGE models by the simulated method of moments: With an application to business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 914-938.
    11. Castellanos, Sara G. & Garcia-Verdu, Rodrigo & Kaplan, David S., 2004. "Nominal wage rigidities in Mexico: evidence from social security records," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 507-533, December.
    12. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
    13. Gallant, A Ronald & Rossi, Peter E & Tauchen, George, 1993. "Nonlinear Dynamic Structures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 871-907, July.
    14. Kuroda, Sachiko & Yamamoto, Isamu, 2003. "Are Japanese Nominal Wages Downwardly Rigid? (Part II): Examinations Using a Friction Model," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(2), pages 31-68, August.
    15. Koop, Gary & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Potter, Simon M., 1996. "Impulse response analysis in nonlinear multivariate models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 119-147, September.
    16. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Optimal Policy with Low-Probability Extreme Events," NBER Working Papers 10196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 514-533, May.
    18. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed017:610. 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: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.