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

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  • 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
Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0405
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School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL

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Web page: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/cdma
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  1. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Role of Consumption in Economic Fluctuations," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 237-266 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher J. Erceg & Charles L. Evans, 1997. "Money, sticky wages, and the Great Depression," International Finance Discussion Papers 591, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Weder, Mark, 2001. "The Great Demand Depression," CEPR Discussion Papers 3067, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. 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.
  9. Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Why did productivity fall so much during the Great Depression?," Staff Report 285, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Pedro Amaral & James C. MacGee, 2002. "The Great Depression in Canada and the United States: A Neoclassical Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 45-72, January.
  11. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," CEPR Discussion Papers 1221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Modigliani, Franco, 1977. "The Monetarist Controversy or, Should We Forsake Stabilization Policies?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 1-19, March.
  13. Robert E. Hall, 1987. "Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2006. "The Source of Historical Economic Fluctuations: An Analysis Using Long-Run Restrictions," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004, pages 17-73 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ben S. Bernanke & Martin L. Parkinson, 1990. "Procyclical Labor Productivity and Competing Theories of the Business Cycle: Some Evidence from Interwar U.S. Manufacturing Industries," NBER Working Papers 3503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jordi Galí, 1992. "How Well Does The IS-LM Model Fit Postwar U. S. Data?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 709-738.
  17. Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord86-1.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Galí, Jordi & Rabanal, Pau, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Post-War US Data?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4522, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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 449-471, May.
  24. 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.
  25. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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 402-417, June.
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  28. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1991. "Productive externalities and business cycles," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 53, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  29. Jordi Gali & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBS Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," NBER Working Papers 10636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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