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The Anatomy of a Credit Crisis: The Boom and Bust in Farm Land Prices in the United States in the 1920s

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  • Raghuram Rajan
  • Rodney Ramcharan

Abstract

Does credit availability exacerbate asset price inflation? Are there long run consequences? During the farm land price boom and bust before the Great Depression, we find that credit availability directly inflated land prices. Credit also amplified the relationship between positive fundamentals and land prices, leading to greater indebtedness. When fundamentals soured, areas with higher credit availability suffered a greater fall in land prices and had more bank failures. Land prices and credit availability also remained disproportionately low for decades in these areas, suggesting that leverage might render temporary credit induced booms and busts persistent. We draw lessons for regulatory policy. (JEL E31, G21, G28, N22, N52, Q12, Q14)

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  • Raghuram Rajan & Rodney Ramcharan, 2015. "The Anatomy of a Credit Crisis: The Boom and Bust in Farm Land Prices in the United States in the 1920s," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1439-1477, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:4:p:1439-77
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20120525
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    Cited by:

    1. Steinar Holden, 2012. "Implications of insights from behavioral economics for macroeconomic models," IMK Working Paper 99-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:72-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sam Langfield & Marco Pagano, 2016. "Bank bias in Europe: effects on systemic risk and growth," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 31(85), pages 51-106.
    4. SERGI BASCO & John P. Tang, 2017. "The Samurai Bond: Credit Supply And Economic Growth In Pre-War Japan," CEH Discussion Papers 05, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    5. Eric Zwick & Charles Nathanson & Anthony DeFusco, 2017. "Speculative Dynamics of Prices and Volume," 2017 Meeting Papers 239, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Rodney Ramcharan & Stéphane Verani & Skander J. Van Den Heuvel, 2016. "From Wall Street to Main Street: The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Consumer Credit Supply," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(3), pages 1323-1356, June.
    7. Jeremy G. Weber & Nigel Key, 2014. "Do Wealth Gains from Land Appreciation Cause Farmers to Expand Acreage or Buy Land?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1334-1348.
    8. Acharya, Viral & Naqvi, Hassan, 2012. "The seeds of a crisis: A theory of bank liquidity and risk taking over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 349-366.
    9. Rajan, Raghuram & Ramcharan, Rodney, 2016. "Local financial capacity and asset values: Evidence from bank failures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 229-251.
    10. Henderson, Jason & Kauffman, Nathan, 2013. "Farm investment and leverage cycles: will this time be different?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 89-114.
    11. Claudio Borio & Magdalena Erdem & Andrew Filardo & Boris Hofmann, 2015. "The costs of deflations: a historical perspective," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    12. Ehsan U. Choudhri & Lawrence L. Schembri, 2013. "A Tale of Two Countries and Two Booms, Canada and the United States in the 1920s and the 2000s: The Roles of Monetary and Financial Stability Policies," Working Paper series 44_13, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    13. Jaremski, Matthew & Wheelock, David C., 2017. "Banking on the Boom, Tripped by the Bust: Banks and the World War I Agricultural Price Shock," Working Papers 2017-36, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    14. Carola Moreno & Carlos Saavedra & Bárbara Ulloa, 2014. "Commodity Price Cycles and Financial Stability," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 738, Central Bank of Chile.
    15. KURASHIMA Daichi & MIZUNAGA Masashi & ODAKI Kazuhiko & WATANABE Wako, 2013. "Is Leverage a Determinant of Asset Price? Evidence from real estate transaction data," Discussion papers 13082, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    16. repec:eee:jjieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:90-98 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N52 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance

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