EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Payment uncertainty, the division of labor, and productivity declines in great depressions

Keiichiro Kobayashi

Review of Economic Dynamics, 2006, vol. 9, issue 4, 715-741

Abstract: This paper proposes a simple model that formalizes a variant of Ohanian's (2001) conjecture explaining the productivity declines observed in the Great Depression. If a large payment shock like an asset-price collapse renders many firms insolvent, other economic agents become exposed to a higher risk of not being paid (payment uncertainty). The payment uncertainty causes endogenous disruptions of the division of labor among firms, thereby lowering macroeconomic productivity. The prediction of the model is that productivity correlates negatively with bankruptcies and positively with the cost share of intermediate inputs, which is consistent with the data from depression episodes. The model implies that the so-called failure of macroeconomic policy in the United States during the early 1930s, when a rash of bankruptcies occurred, could actually have been welfare enhancing, since the quick exit of insolvent agents can resolve payment uncertainty quickly. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Keywords: Payment uncertainty; Productivity; Division of labor; Great depressions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D24 E13 E32 E65 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2006.08.002
Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and institutional members. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/ for details.

Related works:
Working Paper: Payment Uncertainty, the division of labor, and productivity declines in great depressions (2004) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:red:issued:05-50

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
https://www.economic ... ription-information/

DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2006.08.002

Access Statistics for this article

Review of Economic Dynamics is currently edited by Loukas Karabarbounis

More articles in Review of Economic Dynamics from Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Christian Zimmermann ().

 
Page updated 2020-06-21
Handle: RePEc:red:issued:05-50