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The Role of Preference Shocks and Capital Utilization in the Great Depression

  • Mark Weder

    ()

The paper investigates the notion that preference shocks play a central role in our understanding of the Great Depression. I identify a series of universally large negative shocks which destabilized the U.S. during the 1930s. When the artificial economy is paired with variable capital utilization and mildly increasing returns to scale in production, it is able to account for most of the decline in economic activity and it is able to predict realistic persistence.

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File URL: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/economics/CDMA/papers/wp0405.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 200405.

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Date of creation: 15 Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0405
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
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  6. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 67-124 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Parkin, M., 1988. "A Method For Determining Whether Parameters In Aggregative Models Are Structural," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8803, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  8. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  9. Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Why did productivity fall so much during the Great Depression?," Staff Report 285, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Bencivenga, Valerie R, 1992. "An Econometric Study of Hours and Output Variation with Preference Shocks," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(2), pages 449-71, May.
  11. Weder, Mark, 2001. "The great demand depression," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,53, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  12. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2006. "Business cycle accounting," Staff Report 328, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "Front matter, The American Business Cycle. Continuity and Change," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages -15 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord86-1, June.
  16. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations; How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," IMF Working Papers 04/234, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Gali, Jordi, 1992. "How Well Does the IS-LM Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 709-38, May.
  18. Harrison, Sharon G. & Weder, Mark, 2006. "Did sunspot forces cause the Great Depression?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1327-1339, October.
  19. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum, 1994. "Factor Hoarding and the Propagation of Business Cycles Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
  21. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  22. Franco Modigliani, 1977. "The monetarist controversy; or, should we forsake stabilization policies?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Spr suppl, pages 27-46.
  23. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1991. "Productive externalities and business cycles," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 53, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  25. Harrison, Sharon G. & Weder, Mark, 2002. "Did sunspot cause the Great Depression?," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,35, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  26. Bernanke, Ben S & Parkinson, Martin L, 1991. "Procyclical Labor Productivity and Competing Theories of the Business Cycle: Some Evidence from Interwar U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 439-59, June.
  27. Laitner, John & Stolyarov, Dmitriy, 2004. "Aggregate returns to scale and embodied technical change: theory and measurement using stock market data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 191-233, January.
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