Recession and recovery across the nation: lessons from history
Chad R. Wilkerson
The U.S. economy officially fell into recession in December 2007, but the timing of the downturn varied widely across regions of the country. In some regions, employment began to erode much earlier in 2007, while in other regions economic activity stayed strong well into the second half of 2008. Do regions typically vary this much in the timing and circumstances of their recessions? If so, perhaps past experience can also shed light on whether some regions can be expected to rebound earlier or stronger than others from this recession. ; To explore these possibilities, Wilkerson looks at job growth trends across the 12 districts of the Federal Reserve System in recent business cycles. He finds that the timing and depth of regional recessions typically vary widely, with several districts regularly outperforming others. The same generally holds true for the timing and strength of economic recoveries and expansions across the country. Some of these differences can be explained by the unique industrial structures of the districts, but other factors also play a role.
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