NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Sources of Output Fluctuations During the Interwar Period: Further Evidence on the Causes of the Great Depression

Stephen G. Cecchetti, Georgios Karras

NBER Working Paper No. 4049
Issued in April 1992
NBER Program(s):   ME

This paper decomposes output fluctuations during the 1913 to 1940 period into components resulting from aggregate supply and aggregate demand shocks. We estimates a number of different models, all of which yield qualitatively similar results. While identification is normally achieved by assuming that aggregate demand shocks have no long run real effects, we also estimate models that allow demand shocks to permanently affect output. Our findings support the following three conclusions: (i) there was a large negative aggregate demand shock in November 1929, immediately after the stock market crash; (ii) aggregate demand shocks are mainly responsible for the decline in output through mid to late 1931; (iii) beginning in mid 1931 there is an aggregate supply collapse that coincides with the onset on severe bank panics.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4049

Published: Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 49, March 1994, pp. 123-152.

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