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Farm Prices, Redistribution, and the Severity of the Early Great Depression

Joshua Hausman, Johannes Wieland () and Paul Rhode

No 828, 2018 Meeting Papers from Society for Economic Dynamics

Abstract: We investigate the extent to which the size and characteristics of the agriculture sector explain a large part of why initial, negative shocks resulted in a large downturn. Preliminary evidence suggests the following causal chain: As a recession began in the U.S. and abroad in summer 1929, farm prices plummeted; this, in turn, reduced farm incomes. As lower farm incomes interacted with fixed nominal debt burdens, farm consumption collapsed. And lower farm prices not only depressed the incomes of farmers, they also led to economy-wide deflation.

Date: 2018
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