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Economists may be too optimistic about the recovery path of output following recessions says FRB analysis

The economic collapse in the wake of the global financial crises (GFC) and the weaker-than-expected recovery in many countries have led to questions about the impact of severe downturns on economic potential. Indeed, for several major economies, the level of output is nowhere near returning to pre-crisis trend (figure 1). Such developments have resulted in repeated downward revisions to estimates of potential output by private- and public-sector forecasters. In addition, this disappointment in post-recession growth has contributed to concerns that the U.S. economy, among others, is entering an era of secular stagnation…

Capture d’écran 2014-11-18 à 12.18.35

Economic models usually assume that recession-induced gaps will close over time, typically via a period of above trend growth. In our results, growth is not faster after the recession than before, implying that the recession-induced gap is closed primarily by revising estimates of trend output growth lower. Interestingly, much of the downward revision to estimates of trend output happens well into the recovery. In particular, as economies recover and the lower level of actual output persists, potential output is gradually revised down toward actual GDP…

Ironically, despite being known as the dismal science, economists may be too optimistic about the recovery path of output following recessions…

The finding that recessions tend to depress the long-run level of output may imply that demand shocks have permanent effects. The sustained deviation of the level of output from pre-crisis trend points to flaws in the way the economics profession models the recovery of output to economic shocks and raises further doubts about the reliance on measures of output gaps to determine economic slack. For policymakers, the results also point to the cost of recessions, especially deep and long ones, and provide a rationale for strong and rapid policy responses to economic downturns.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at FRB: Potential Output and Recessions: Are We Fooling Ourselves?.

Discussion

One thought on “Economists may be too optimistic about the recovery path of output following recessions says FRB analysis

  1. the cost of recession is greater than the recession itself, the pain, the homelessness , the pressure put on families , Elderly and Children is Awful , thanks for the post , enjoyed it

    Posted by Gil | October 26, 2015, 11:22 pm

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