Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

This Time Is Different: An Example of a Giant, Wildly Speculative, and Successful Investment Mania

Contents:

Author Info

  • Odlyzko Andrew

    ()
    (University of Minnesota)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The literature on manias and bubbles is dominated by spectacular collapses and the question of whether they could have been foreseen. What is not widely known, though, is that there was at least one giant and wildly speculative investment episode that was successful in that it produced above-market profits for original investors. The British railway mania of the 1830s involved real capital investment comparable, as a fraction of GDP, to about $2 trillion for the U.S. today. It faced withering skepticism and criticism, much of it very reasonable, as its supposedly rosy prospects were based on extrapolation from the brief experience of just a couple of successful early railways. Yet by the mid-1840s, it was seen as a success.The example of the railway mania of the 1830s serves as a useful antidote to claims that bubbles are easy to detect or that all large and quick jumps in asset valuations are irrational. This episode also suggests the need to reexamine much of the work on business cycles and the diffusion of technologies. The standard literature in this area, starting from Juglar and continuing through Schumpeter to more recent authors, almost uniformly ignores large investment mania, whose nature does not fit the stereotypical pattern.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap.2010.10.1/bejeap.2010.10.1.2584/bejeap.2010.10.1.2584.xml?format=INT
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 1-28

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:60

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:60. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.