Abstract of the Week
Posted at 5 p.m. on Aug. 2, 2013
Tyler Atkinson, David Luttrell, and Harvey Rosenblum have a new paper for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas calculating that the Great Recession cost the US economy as much as $14 trillion and could even be greater than a year’s worth of economic output.
“The 2007-09 financial crisis was associated with a huge loss of economic output and financial wealth, psychological consequences and skill atrophy from extended unemployment, an increase in government intervention, and other significant costs. Assuming the financial crisis is to blame for these associated ills, an estimate of its cost is needed to weigh against the cost of policies intended to prevent similar episodes. We conservatively estimate that 40 to 90 percent of one year’s output ($6 trillion to $14 trillion, the equivalent of $50,000 to $120,000 for every U.S. household) was foregone due to the 2007-09 recession. We also provide several alternative measures of lost consumption, national trauma, and other negative consequences of the worst recession since the 1930s. This more comprehensive evaluation of factors suggests that what the U.S. gave up as a result of the crisis is likely greater than the value of one year’s output”