The worldwide Great Depression of the 1930s was a watershed for both economic thought and economic policymaking. It led to the belief that market economies are inherently unstable and to the revolutionary work of John Maynard Keynes. Its impact on popular economic wisdom is still apparent today. Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century, which uses a common framework to study sixteen depressions from the interwar period in Europe and America, as well as from more recent times in Japan and Latin America, challenges the Keynesian theory of depressions. It develops and uses a methodology for studying depressions that relies on growth accounting and the general equilibrium growth model. Different chapters in this book analyze the depressions in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States in the 1930s, the depressions in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico in the 1980s, and recent depressions in Argentina, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Besides the editors themselves, the contributors are Pedro Amaral, Paul Beaudry, Raphael Bergoeing, Mirta Bugarin, Harold Cole, Juan Carlos Conesa, Mario Crucini, Roberto Ellery, Victor Gomes, Jonas Fisher, Fumio Hayashi, Andreas Hornstein, James Kahn, Patrick Kehoe, Finn Kydland, James MacGee, Lee Ohanian, Fabrizio Perri, Franck Portier, Vincenzo Quadrini, Kim Ruhl, Raimundo Soto, Arilton Teixeira, and Carlos Zarazaga.
The book has a web site, greatdepressionsbook.com, that contains files with all of the data used in each study and computer programs for performing numerical experiments with dynamic general equilibrium models.
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Timothy J. Kehoe: Tim Kehoe has been an advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis since 2000. A professor at the University of Minnesota since 1987, Tim is currently Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Economics. His research and teaching focus on the theory and application of general equilibrium models.
Edward C. Prescott: Edward Prescott is a senior monetary advisor with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and has been affiliated with the Bank since 1981. He also holds the W. P. Carey Chair of Economics at Arizona State University. In 2004 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, jointly with Finn Kydland, for their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics, notably the time consistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles.
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