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Price Flexibility, Credit Availability, and Economic Fluctuations: Evidence from the United States, 1894-1909

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  • Calomiris, Charles W
  • Hubbard, R Glenn

Abstract

The importance of disturbances in financial markets for real economic activity and the positive association between price level and output movements typically are explained by appeal to a combination of nominal aggregate demand shocks (particularly money-supply shocks) and rigid prices. The authors argue that this view is inconsistent with evidence for short-run responsiveness of prices and gold flows to nominal disturbances during the pre-World War I gold-standard era. They offer an alternative explanation that connects financial markets and real activity through disturbances to the availability of credit. This approach links comovements in prices and output through real effects in credit markets associated with price-level shocks. Empirical analysis, using monthly data for the pre-World War I period, supports the assumption of rapid price adjustment, and the credit-supply interpretation of the transmission of financial shocks. Disturbances to credit availability, including price shocks, contribute substantially to the empirical explanation of output fluctuations during this period. Copyright 1989, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 104 (1989)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 429-52

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:104:y:1989:i:3:p:429-52

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Cited by:
  1. Jeong, Woocheon & Kymn, Kem O. & Kymn, Christine J., 2003. "The long-run interdependence of bank-health, investment-oriented bank loans, and economic performance: A time-series analysis," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 11-30.
  2. John W. Keating, 2013. "What Do We Learn from Blanchard and Quah Decompositions If Aggregate Demand May Not be Long-Run Neutral?," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201302, University of Kansas, Department of Economics.
  3. Goetz von Peter, 2005. "Debt-Deflation: Concepts, and a Stylised Model," Macroeconomics 0505001, EconWPA.
  4. Tor Jacobson & Jesper Lindé & Kasper Roszbach, 2011. "Firm default and aggregate fluctuations," International Finance Discussion Papers 1029, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Christopher M. Meissner, 2013. "Capital Flows, Credit Booms, and Financial Crises in the Classical Gold Standard Era," NBER Working Papers 18814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Tuomas A. Peltonen & Ricardo M. Sousa & Isabel S. Vansteenkiste, 2009. "Fundamentals, Financial Factors and The Dynamics of Investment in Emerging Markets," NIPE Working Papers 19/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  7. Charles W. Calomiris & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1993. "Internal Finance and Investment: Evidence from the Undistributed Profits Tax of 1936-1937," NBER Working Papers 4288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Goetz von Peter, 2003. "A Unified Approach to Credit Crunches, Financial Instability, and Banking Crises," Macroeconomics 0312006, EconWPA.
  9. Kupiec, Paul H. & Ramirez, Carlos D., 2013. "Bank failures and the cost of systemic risk: Evidence from 1900 to 1930," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-307.
  10. Tuomas A. Peltonen & Ricardo M. Sousa & Isabel S. Vansteenkiste, 2009. "Asset prices, Credit and Investment in Emerging Markets," NIPE Working Papers 18/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  11. Charles W. Calomiris & Athanasios Orphanides & Steven A. Sharpe, 1994. "Leverage as a State Variable for Employment, Inventory Accumulation, andFixed Investment," NBER Working Papers 4800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Keating, John W., 2013. "What do we learn from Blanchard and Quah decompositions of output if aggregate demand may not be long-run neutral?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 203-217.
  13. Charles W. Calomiris, 1993. "Financial Factors in the Great Depression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 61-85, Spring.

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