How A Modern Depression Might Look
Wall Street Journal:
In the wake of the biggest financial shock since 1929, economists say the odds of a depression are less than 50-50 -- though still uncomfortably high. But even if a depression comes to pass, a 21st-century version would look very different from the one 80 years ago.
There is no consensus definition for "depression." Harvard University economist Robert Barro defines it as a decline in per-person economic output or consumption of more than 10%, and puts the odds of a depression at about 20%. Many economic historians say the line between recession and depression is crossed when unemployment rises above 10% and stays there for several years.