Measuring the Onset of the Great Depression: Then and Now

Indian Economic Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, January-June 2001

Posted: 26 May 2003

See all articles by Bryan L. Boulier

Bryan L. Boulier

George Washington University - Department of Economics

H.O. Stekler

George Washington University - Department of Economics

Jeremy Dutra

Georgetown University

Abstract

U.S. industrial production data published in 1929-30 show a steep drop in production from June to December 1929 and a substantial recovery by February 1930. Revised data used in recent analyses of the Great Depression show a smaller decline in 1929 and no recovery period. This paper identifies differences in seasonal patterns as an important source of the disparity in the time paths of production. A comparison of modern seasonal adjustment procedures applied to data available in 1929-30 with methods applied in 1929-30 shows that the historical methods provided misleading real time information to economic agents and decision makers.

Keywords: Great Depression, Industrial Production, Economic Forecasting

JEL Classification: E37, N12

Suggested Citation

Boulier, Bryan L. and Stekler, H.O. and Dutra, Jeremy, Measuring the Onset of the Great Depression: Then and Now. Indian Economic Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, January-June 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=342022

Bryan L. Boulier (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

Monroe Hall, Suite 340
2115 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-8088 (Phone)
202-994-6147 (Fax)

H.O. Stekler

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

2115 G ST NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-1261 (Phone)
202-994-6147 (Fax)

Jeremy Dutra

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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