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Signs of a recession

The image shows a “Foreclosure” sign in the foreground and the tops of a couple of houses in the background.
Home foreclosures were just one of the many signs and symptoms of the recent Great Recession. During that time, many businesses closed and many people lost their jobs. (Credit: modification of work by Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr Creative Commons)

The great recession

The Great Recession of 2008–2009 hit the U.S. economy hard. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of unemployed Americans rose from 6.8 million in May 2007 to 15.4 million in October 2009. During that time, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that approximately 170,000 small businesses closed. Mass layoffs peaked in February 2009 when 326,392 workers were given notice. U.S. productivity and output fell as well. Job losses, declining home values, declining incomes, and uncertainty about the future caused consumption expenditures to decrease. According to the BLS, household spending dropped by 7.8%.

Home foreclosures and the meltdown in U.S. financial markets called for immediate action by Congress, the President, and the Federal Reserve Bank. For example, programs such as the American Restoration and Recovery Act were implemented to help millions of people by providing tax credits for homebuyers, paying “cash for clunkers,” and extending unemployment benefits. From cutting back on spending, filing for unemployment, and losing homes, millions of people were affected by the recession. And while the United States is now on the path to recovery, the impact will be felt for many years to come.

What caused this recession and what prevented the economy from spiraling further into another depression? Policymakers looked to the lessons learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and to the models developed by John Maynard Keynes to analyze the causes and find solutions to the country’s economic woes. The Keynesian perspective is the subject of this chapter.

Introduction to the keynesian perspective

In this chapter, you will learn about:

  • Aggregate Demand in Keynesian Analysis
  • The Building Blocks of Keynesian Analysis
  • The Phillips Curve
  • The Keynesian Perspective on Market Forces

We have learned that the level of economic activity, for example output, employment, and spending, tends to grow over time. In The Keynesian Perspective we learned the reasons for this trend. The Macroeconomic Perspective pointed out that the economy tends to cycle around the long-run trend. In other words, the economy does not always grow at its average growth rate. Sometimes economic activity grows at the trend rate, sometimes it grows more than the trend, sometimes it grows less than the trend, and sometimes it actually declines. You can see this cyclical behavior in [link] .

U.s. gross domestic product, percent changes 1930–2014

The line graph shows how GDP percentages have fluctuated since 1930 with the highest percentage in the early 1940s and the lowest percentage in the early 1930s (closely followed by the mid 1940s).
The chart tracks the percent change in GDP since 1930. The magnitude of both recessions and peaks was quite large between 1930 and 1945. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, “National Economic Accounts”)

This empirical reality raises two important questions: How can we explain the cycles, and to what extent can they be moderated? This chapter (on the Keynesian perspective) and The Neoclassical Perspective explore those questions from two different points of view, building on what we learned in The Aggregate Demand/Aggregate Supply Model .

Questions & Answers

what is economic
Azolingo Reply
why is economics not a pure science?
what is management of human resources?
Ibrahim Reply
how is economics a science?
Mei Reply
4. It is a hot day, and Bert is thirsty. Here is the value he places on each bottle of water: Value of first bottle $7 Value of second bottle $5 Value of third bottle $3 Value of fourth bottle $1 a. From this information, derive Bert’s demand schedule. Graph his demand curve for bottled w
Tahmina Reply
what is the law of diminishing marginal utility
Samuel Reply
The law of diminishing marginal utility state that as a consumer consumes a successive units of a commodity, a point is eventually reached where consumption of additional unit yields less satisfaction.
what is demand
Isatu Reply
other things can be equal an certain amount paid for the goods by consumer in the market called demand.
demand is the amount of a commodity a consumer is willing and able buy at a given price at a particular point in time
Demand is the quantity of commodity a consumer is willing and able to buy at a given price and a particular time.
what is economics
Owusu Reply
economics is a social science subject, which study human behaviors as a relationship btw end ND scarce means
what utility
Utility is the satisfaction a consumer derives from consuming a particular commodity.
meaning of economics
Agyei Reply
what is a columnist
what are the four basic assumptions of perfect competition
Liyanda Reply
There is a well known maximum by economic that states that the birthd of money is the deaths of batter system discuss the statement
how does price elasticity increase
Anuoluwapo Reply
What is real GDP
Klaudia Reply
Real GDP is a way of adjusting our output calculations for inflation so that we can see group interms of physical production quantity
Real gross domestic product is a macroeconomic measure of the value of economic output adjusted for price changes. This adjustment transforms the money-value measure, nominal GDP, into an index for quantity of total output
what is economics
Preet Reply
Economics is the study of human behavior between scarcity and want.
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economics is the study of man and his behaviors
yh all is correct
According to Professor Lionel Robbins" Economics is a science which study human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses".
According to Adam Smith, "Economics is a science which inquired into the nature and cause of wealth of nations. "
economics is a science that studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
everyone is correct
More questions
What is utility
what is the relationship between savings, consumption and investment
according to dr.adam Smith," an enquire in to the nature and causes of the wealth of the nation. "1776.Economics is the studies of the wealth of the nation.
what is elasticity

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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