QUESTION: Bail-outs outcomes

question / pregunta: 

This is a cool visualization on Many Eyes

Can you provide any outcomes data to correlate with these bail-outs over time? Like change in GDP or unemployment rates corresponding over years after these bail-outs to determine how effective or ineffective they may have been? Also, 1930-1933 bank bailouts, what was the cost and the results in unemployment or GDP. I heard they weren't effective at all.

Propublic is the user who created the visualization on Many Eyes.


This is a good question. Thanks for the link to the bailout visualization. I don't think you can make a one-to-one correlation between the bailouts in history and data on GDP and/or employment because there are so many factors that go into those data. Be that as it may, the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good place to start for (un)employment statistics. GDP can be found at US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis. I believe you can also find those data in the US Statistical Abstract, available online and at your nearest Federal Depository Library.

I'm not sure how far back those data are available on their sites, so you may want to visit your local library. NY Public, as well as several University libraries in NYC should be able to help you if the data are not online. Here's a hint, any library that is a Federal Depository (like NYU) has to allow the public in to use Federal government information. So, you should be able to gain entrance to, for example, NYU, even though they're a private university.

Another angle to try is the secondary literature. That is, you can search in books to see if anyone has been able to make the correlation you're seeking. I searched Worldcat for "bailout" and found 287 books, many of which will get at your question. Once you find a book in which you're interested, you can put in your zip code and find the nearest library that has the title.

I was just checking with the agencies I recommended to get GDP/Unemployment data. I grabbed annual GDP data (1929 - 2007) from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and made the visualization below. Because of the original site, I was tempted to try ManyEyes to test out my own data visualization. I hope this helps.