Name University Professor Date Essays on the Great Depression: A Book Analysis The Essays on Great Depression is a book written by Ben Bernanke and was published by the Princeton University Press during the year 2000. This book tackled the Great Depression that occurred during the 1930s, which was described by Bernanke in his preamble as a vertiginous economic decline (vii)…
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The said issues raised by the Great Depression are still relevant today as cited by Bernanke (vii). Bernanke described the Depression as informative basically for two principal reasons. The author first mentioned that the Great Depression was a very big event and second, it affected most of the world’s countries, hence, the period also provided a marvelous laboratory for studying the link between economic policies and institutions, at the same time, going through the details of economic performance (vii). The book consists of nine essays, some of which are written with different coauthors that mainly discussed the macroeconomics of the Great Depression. Bernanke cited that the said essays were composed in a span of approximately two decades, which in his opinion, presented a largely coherent view of the causes and propagation of the Depression (viii). Each essay endeavors to divide the broad subject matter into a specific piece of economic activity to be able to carry out a clinical exploration of it. Upon reading the book, however, the author of this paper found some essays to be more compelling compared with the others. The Great Depression of the 1930s gave birth to macroeconomics as a distinctive field of study—the events that transpired during this period continues to influence macroeconomists’ beliefs, policy recommendations and research agendas (Bernanke 5). In spite of this, the author deemed that finding an explanation for the worldwide economic collapse remains as an enthralling intellectual dilemma. Bernanke gave emphasis that understanding the Great Depression if the Holy Grail of Macroeconomics, that is, it mandates understanding of the concept particularly with the economists who are attracted to the subject matter specifically in comprehending the scope of a significant turning point in world history (5). Bernanke also mentioned that in his viewpoint, the most vital latest innovation has been an alteration in the concentration of Depression research, from a conventional highlighting of incidents that transpired in the United States to a more relative means that scrutinizes the happenings in a number of countries concurrently (5). This expansion of focus is significant for two reasons: though the shocks to the domestic U.S. economy were a primary cause of both the American and world depressions, no account of the Great Depression would be complete without the analysis of the worldwide nature of the event, and of the channels through which deflationary forces proliferated among the different countries (Bernanke 5). Second, by successfully expanding the data set from one observation to twenty, thirty or more, the shift to a comparative perspective substantially improves people’s ability to identify the forces accountable for the world depression that had transpired (Bernanke 5). The author deemed that the improved identification brought about by a comparative approach is beneficial for the reason that it has the potential to bring the economists toward agreement on the causes of the Great Depression. Bernanke proposed that to review the state of knowledge about the Great Depression, it is fitting to create the distinction between factors influencing aggregate demand and those involving aggregate supply; hence, he divided his lecture into two sections (6). Moreover, he argued that the factors that depressed aggregate demand around the
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