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Policy Focus: Some lessons for economists from the financial crisis

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  • Thomas Willett
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss implications of the global crisis for economic and financial research and policy. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews many recent studies on the crisis and offers the author's views on some of the most important lessons to be drawn from the crisis Findings – The review counters views that the crisis reflected a basic failure of economics, but agrees that it undercuts some particular theories and approaches to economics. More attention needs to be given to imperfections in the operation of both markets and governments, drawing on insights from behavioral and neuro economics and finance and political economy analysis and recognizing the importance of limited information and uncertainty about correct models. The creation of perverse incentive structures explain a large part of the financial excesses that led to the crisis. Financial considerations need to be integrated much more closely with macroeconomic analysis and financial risk analysis needs to pay more attention to economic considerations. Useful insights can be drawn from many different theories and approaches and we should not expect any one theory to have all the answers. The excesses observed in the advanced economies do not imply that there are not enormous benefits to be gained from further financial liberalization in emerging market economies, but they do show that great care must be taken in establishing strong supervision of such liberalizations and highlight many of the dangers to look out for. Originality/value – The paper offers a guide to the literature for those interested in learning more about the causes and effects of the crisis and policy responses and offers a number of suggestions for fruitful research topics and policy strategies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Indian Growth and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 ( October)
    Pages: 186-208

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:igdrpp:v:3:y:2010:i:2:p:186-208

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    Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
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    Related research

    Keywords: Financial risk; Macroeconomics; Financial analysis;

    References

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    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.:
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    1. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
    2. George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
    3. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Olivier J. Blanchard & Paolo Mauro, 2010. "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/03, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Ajay Shah & Ila Patnaik, 2010. "Why India Choked when Lehman Broke," Working Papers id:2362, eSocialSciences.
    5. Kenneth French & Martin Baily & John Campbell & John Cochrane & Douglas Diamond & Darrell Duffie & Anil Kashyap & Frederic Mishkin & Raghuram Rajan & David Scharfstein & Robert Shiller & Hyun Song Shi, 2010. "The Squam Lake Report: Fixing the Financial System," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(3), pages 8-21.
    6. 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.
    7. Axel Leijonhufvud, 2009. "Out of the corridor: Keynes and the crisis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 741-757, July.
    8. Vogel,Harold L., 2010. "Financial Market Bubbles and Crashes," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521199674.
    9. Gorton, Gary B., 2010. "Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199734153, September.
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