UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA Economics 134 DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS Spring 2018 Professor David Romer

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1 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA Economics 134 DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS Spring 2018 Professor David Romer LECTURE 2 OVERVIEW OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION January 22, 2018 I. THE 1920S A. GDP growth and inflation B. Rising inequality C. Stock price increases II. THE GREAT DEPRESSION A. Centered in the U.S., but spread to the rest of the world B. Stock market crash C. Financial panics, the decline in the money supply, and deflation D. Fiscal policy E. International factors F. Severity of the downturn III. THE RECOVERY FROM THE GREAT DEPRESSION A. Timing and strength B. Monetary policy at the zero lower bound C. Fiscal expansion D. The recession of E. World War II 1. Impact of the fiscal expansion 2. Consequences of rising debt IV. INTRODUCTION TO POSTWAR MACROECONOMIC FLUCTUATIONS A. Basic facts: The behavior of real GDP and unemployment B. Recessions 1. What is a recession? 2. Postwar recessions 3. The 3 largest postwar recessions before the Great Recession C. The labor market in recessions 1. Okun s law 2. The sources of Okun s law D. Short-run fluctuations and the components of output

2 Economics 134 Spring 2018 David Romer LECTURE 2 Overview of the Great Depression January 22, 2018

3 Announcements A second reader, which contains the outside readings that are available online and is optional, is now available at Copy Central. You can order it in person at Copy Central, or online at con-134-vol-2-optional-reading-macroeconomic- policy-from-the-great-depression-to-today none-romer The price is $29.50.

4 I. THE 1920S

5 By the 1920s: The U.S. economy was no longer primarily a agricultural. There was substantial nominal rigidity. Monetary policy was determined by the Federal Reserve. Federal revenues and spending were large enough that they could have a substantial impact on the economy.

6 Real GDP Growth, GDP Growth 5 Percent Issue: Was GDP growth above the growth rate of potential output?

7 15 10 Real GDP Growth and Inflation GDP Growth 5 Percent Inflation

8 Income Inequality in the United States Share of total income going to Top 10% 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% Issue: What effect might increasing inequality have on short-run fluctuations?

9 Stock Prices, 1922:1-1929: Monthly S&P Stock Price Index Jan 1922 Jun 1922 Nov 1922 Apr 1923 Sep 1923 Feb 1924 Jul 1924 Dec 1924 May 1925 Oct 1925 Mar 1926 Aug 1926 Jan 1927 Jun 1927 Nov 1927 Apr 1928 Sep 1928 Feb 1929 Jul 1929 Issue: What do we mean by a bubble?

10 II. THE GREAT DEPRESSION

11 Depression was worldwide, but likely began in the U.S.

12 Depression was faster, larger, and longer in the U.S.

13 Why do we think Depression began in the U.S.? Circumstantial evidence timing, severity, etc. Can identify shocks in the U.S. and transmission mechanism to the rest of the world.

14 The fundamental cause of the Great Depression was a collapse in aggregate demand caused by: Stock market crash. Banking panics and a decline in the money supply. Misguided macroeconomic policy. International factors.

15 36.5 Stock Prices, 1922:1-1929:12 Monthly S&P Stock Price Index Jan 1922 Jun 1922 Nov 1922 Apr 1923 Sep 1923 Feb 1924 Jul 1924 Dec 1924 May 1925 Oct 1925 Mar 1926 Aug 1926 Jan 1927 Jun 1927 Nov 1927 Apr 1928 Sep 1928 Feb 1929 Jul 1929 Dec 1929 Issue: What role did the Great Crash play in the onset of the Depression?

16 Industrial Production, Industrial Production (Logarithms) August 1929 October 1929

17 Number Bank Suspensions Jul 1929 Sep 1929 Nov 1929 Jan 1930 Mar 1930 May 1930 Jul 1930 Sep 1930 Nov 1930 Jan 1931 Mar 1931 May 1931 Jul 1931 Sep 1931 Nov 1931 Jan 1932 Mar 1932 May 1932 Jul 1932 Sep 1932 Nov 1932 Jan 1933

18 Money Supply and Banking Crises M1 (Billions of $) Jan 1929 May 1929 Sep 1929 Jan 1930 May 1930 Sep 1930 Jan 1931 May 1931 Sep 1931 Jan 1932 Vertical lines show the dates of waves of panics identified by Friedman and Schwartz. May 1932 Sep 1932 Jan 1933 May 1933 Sep 1933 Jan 1934 May 1934 Sep 1934 Jan 1935 May 1935 Sep 1935

19 Issue: What was the impact of the banking panics and the collapse of the money supply?

20 Producer Price Index Logarithms Issue: What role did actual and expected deflation play?

21 Issue: Can fiscal contractions ever be expansionary?

22 Issue: What role did the gold standard play in spreading the Depression throughout the world?

23 Unemployment Rate, Percent

24 III. THE RECOVERY FROM THE GREAT DEPRESSION

25 Industrial Production, Industrial Production (Logarithms) August 1929 March 1933

26 Commercial Paper Rate (Percent) Commercial Paper Rate, /03/ /09/ /16/ /22/ /27/ /03/ /09/ /16/ /20/ /27/ /03/ /09/ /16/ /21/ /27/ /03/ /09/ /14/ /28/ /04/ /11/ /15/ /21/ /28/ /04/ /11/ /16/ /21/ /27/1941 Issue: Can monetary expansion still be helpful at the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates?

27 Money Supply, M1 (Billions of $) Jan 1929 Aug 1929 Mar 1930 Oct 1930 May 1931 Dec 1931 Jul 1932 Feb 1933 Sep 1933 Apr 1934 Nov 1934 Jun 1935 Jan 1936 Aug 1936 Mar 1937 Oct 1937 May 1938 Dec 1938 Jul 1939 Feb 1940 Sep 1940 Apr 1941 Nov 1941

28 Government Spending as a Percent of GDP Issue: Does fiscal stimulus work?

29 Industrial Production, Industrial Production (Logarithms) August 1929 March 1933 May 1937 June Issue: What caused the recession of ?

30 Real GDP (Billions of 2005$, Logarithms) Real GDP

31 Real GDP and Government Spending Billions of 2005$, Logarithms GDP G Issue: Can wars provide evidence on the impact of government spending?

32 120.0 U.S. Debt-to-GDP Ratio Percent Issue: What are the impacts of high government debt?

33 IV. INTRODUCTION TO POSTWAR MACROECONOMIC FLUCTUATIONS

34 GDP does not grow smoothly.

35 Unemployment varies significantly, and sometimes rises sharply.

36 What Is a Recession? Recessions are identified judgmentally by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The NBER s definition: A recession [is] a significant decline in economic activity [that] spreads across the economy and can last from a few months to more than a year (emphasis added).

37 Postwar recessions vary in frequency, duration, and size.

38 Output Movements Vary Greatly across Recessions Example: Quarterly GDP Movements in the 3 Largest Postwar Recessions before the Great Recession : 4.0%, 10.0% : 3.3%, +1.1%, 3.8%, 1.6%, 4.7% : 4.6%, 6.5%. Note: All figures are at an annual rate.

39 Okun s Law A shortfall of GDP growth from normal of 2 percentage points is usually associated with a rise in the unemployment rate of about 1 percentage point.

40 In recessions, the work week and output per hour usually fall. (And labor force participation usually falls as well.)

41 Short-run fluctuations in output are distributed very unevenly over the components of output.

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