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Economics Professors: Global Crash Worse Than During First Year of Great Depression

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Washington’s Blog
Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Many people (including me) have pointed out that the crash in the U.S. has arguably been worse than during the first year of the Great Depression.

But the Great Depression was a global, not just a U.S. crash. So how does the last year compare to the 1929 depression on a world-wide basis?

Economics professors Barry Eichengreen and and Kevin H. O’Rourke have written a paper conclusively showing that the global crash has been worse in the last year than during the first year of the Great Depression.

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, you can quickly see what they’re talking about by looking at the following 4 graphs:


Figure 1. World Industrial Output, Now vs Then

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t


Figure 2. World Stock Markets, Now vs Then


Figure 3. The Volume of World Trade, Now vs Then


Figure 6. Government Budget Surpluses, Now vs Then

(Note: In the last chart, the colors are reversed, and the blue line is from the 1920’s.)

This article was posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 3:46 am

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