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"Forecasting the Depression: Harvard versus
Yale," (with K. M.
Dominguez and M. S. Shapiro), The American Economic Review,
September 1988, 595-612.
pdf file (1,101KB).
Was the Depression forecastable? After the Crash, how long should it
have taken contemporary forecasters to realize how severe the downturn
was going to be? Data assembled by the Harvard and Yale
forecasters---together with modern historical data---are subjected to
statistical analysis. Neither contemporary forecasters nor modern
time-series analysis could have forecast the large declines in
output following the Crash.
This was a fun paper to write, especially learning what the Harvard
Economic Service and Irving Fisher were doing prior to the Depression.
The overall results rather strongly suggest that the Depression was