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Recent Great Depressions: Aggregate Growth in New Zealand and Switzerland



Microsoft Word - NZ-Switzerland0209.doc Recent Great Depressions: Aggregate Growth in New Zealand and Switzerland* Timothy J. Kehoe Department of Economics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480, and National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 [email protected] and Kim J. Ruhl Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, New York 10012 [email protected] April 2003 Revised March 2007 *© 2003, Timothy J. Kehoe and Kim J. Ruhl. We have greatly benefited from the discussions surrounding the “Great Depressions: New Zealand and Switzerland in the Late Twentieth Century” workshop at Victoria University of Wellington, February 2002. We are also grateful to seminar participants at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and the University of Auckland. We would like to thank Phillip Bishop, Phil Briggs, Stephen Burnell, Brian Easton, Tim Hazledine, Ralph Lattimore, John McDermott, Andrew Philpott, Dennis Rose, and Mark Walton for insightful discussion and valuable references. We also thank two anonymous referees for helpful comments. The data used in this paper are available at and The views expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis or the Federal Reserve System. Abstract Throughout the 1950s and 60s real GDP per working-age person in New Zealand and Switzerland grew at rates at or above the 2 percent trend growth rate of the United States. Between 1973 and 2000, however, real GDP per working-age person in both countries has fallen a cumulative 30 percent below the trend growth path. Our growth accounting attributes almost all of the changes in output growth to changes in the growth of total factor productivity

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