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After the Fall

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  • Carmen M. Reinhart
  • Vincent R. Reinhart

Abstract

This paper examines the behavior of real GDP (levels and growth rates), unemployment, inflation, bank credit, and real estate prices in a twenty one-year window surrounding selected adverse global and country-specific shocks or events. The episodes include the 1929 stock market crash, the 1973 oil shock, the 2007 U.S. subprime collapse and fifteen severe post-World War II financial crises. The focus is not on the immediate antecedents and aftermath of these events but on longer horizons that compare decades rather than years. While evidence of lost decades, as in the depression of the 1930s, 1980s Latin America and 1990s Japan are not ubiquitous, GDP growth and housing prices are significantly lower and unemployment higher in the ten-year window following the crisis when compared to the decade that preceded it. Inflation is lower after 1929 and in the post-financial crisis decade episodes but notoriously higher after the oil shock. We present evidence that the decade of relative prosperity prior to the fall was importantly fueled by an expansion in credit and rising leverage that spans about 10 years; it is followed by a lengthy period of retrenchment that most often only begins after the crisis and lasts almost as long as the credit surge.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16334.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2010. "After the fall," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 17-60.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16334

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  1. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2012. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles, and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1029-61, April.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Jose F. Ursua, 2008. "Macroeconomic Crises since 1870," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 255-350.
  3. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis And The European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Luc Laeven & Fabian Valencia, 2010. "Resolution of Banking Crises," IMF Working Papers 10/146, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco E. Terrones, 2008. "An anatomy of credit booms: evidence from macro aggregates and micro data," International Finance Discussion Papers 936, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  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. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Rodrigo Valdes & Oscar Landerretche, 2001. "Lending Booms: Latin America and the World," NBER Working Papers 8249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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