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The failure to predict the Great Recession. The failure of academic economics? A view focusing on the role of credit

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  • Maria Dolores Gadea Rivas

    ()
    (University of Zaragoza)

  • Gabriel Perez-Quiros

    ()
    (Banco de España y CEPR)

Abstract

Much has been written about why economists failed to predict the latest financial and real crisis. Reading the recent literature, it seems that the crisis was so obvious that economists must have been blind when looking at data not to see it coming. In this paper, we analyze whether such claims are justified by looking at one of the most cited and relevant variables in this analysis, the now infamous credit to GDP chart. We compare the conclusions reached in the literature after the crisis with the results that could have been drawn from an ex ante analysis. We show that, even though credit affects the business cycle in both the expansion and the recession phases, this effect is almost negligible and impossible to exploit from a policymaker’s point of view.

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File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/12/Fich/dt1240e.pdf
File Function: First version, December 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Banco de Espa�a in its series Banco de Espa�a Working Papers with number 1240.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:1240

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Keywords: business cycles; forecasting; financial crisis;

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References

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  10. Jordà, Òscar & Schularick, Moritz & Taylor, Alan M., 2011. "When Credit Bites Back: Leverage, Business Cycles, and Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8678, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  17. Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco E. Terrones, 2008. "An anatomy of credit booms: evidence from macro aggregates and micro data," International Finance Discussion Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 936, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Cited by:
  1. Jordà, Òscar, 2014. "Assessing the historical role of credit: Business cycles, financial crises and the legacy of Charles S. Peirce," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 729-740.

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