Abrahamsen, Aeppli, Atukeren, Graff, Müller and Schips (2005) object to Kehoe and Prescott's (2002) characterization of the Swiss economy as being in a great depression over the period 1974-2000. They argue that (1) depressions should be defined in terms of declines in labor productivity rather than in GDP; (2) examining deviations from trend in GDP is equivalent to examining levels; (3) Swiss data from the 1970s should be ignored because it is of low quality and because the 1970s were a period of turmoil in the Swiss labor market; (4) Swiss GDP data should be adjusted to account for appreciations in the terms of trade; and (5) the change in Swiss national accounts from a system based on SNA68 to one based on SNA93 will make Swiss economic performance look better. In this note, we find that none of these arguments have merit except for, possibly, the need to adjust GDP data for changes in the terms of trade. We conclude that Switzerland has indeed suffered a great depression and, in fact, is mired in it even today. (Copyright: Elsevier)
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