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Finance and Business Cycles: The Credit-Driven Household Demand Channel


  • Atif Mian
  • Amir Sufi


What is the role of the financial sector in explaining business cycles? This question is as old as the field of macroeconomics, and an extensive body of research conducted since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 has offered new answers. The specific idea put forward in this article is that expansions in credit supply, operating primarily through household demand, have been an important driver of business cycles. We call this the credit-driven household demand channel. While this channel helps explain the recent global recession, it also describes economic cycles in many countries over the past 40 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2018. "Finance and Business Cycles: The Credit-Driven Household Demand Channel," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 31-58, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:32:y:2018:i:3:p:31-58
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.32.3.31

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Financial Crisis: The Endgame
      by Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz in Money, Banking and Financial Markets on 2018-09-03 12:25:40


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Sarah & Gray, Daniel & Montagnoli, Alberto, 2019. "Credit supply shocks and household leverage: Evidence from the US banking deregulation," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 97-115.
    2. Ray C. Fair, 2019. "Some Important Macro Points," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2165R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 2019.
    3. Zheng Liu & Pengfei Wang & Tao Zha, 2019. "A Theory of Housing Demand Shocks," Working Paper Series 2019-9, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, revised 07 Mar 2019.
    4. Illing, Gerhard & Ono, Yoshiyasu & Schlegl, Matthias, 2018. "Credit booms, debt overhang and secular stagnation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 78-104.
    5. Richter, Bj�rn & Schularick, Moritz & Wachtel, Paul, 2017. "When to Lean Against the Wind," CEPR Discussion Papers 12188, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Morris A. Davis & William D. Larson & Stephen D. Oliner & Benjamin Smith, 2019. "Mortgage Risk Since 1990," FHFA Staff Working Papers 19-02, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    7. Timothy Besley & Isabelle Roland & John Van Reenen, 2020. "The Aggregate Consequences of Default Risk: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp1672, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Engelbert Stockhammer & Christina Wolf, 2019. "Building blocks for the macroeconomics and political economy of housing," Japanese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1-2), pages 43-67, April.
    9. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Spencer Yongwook Kwon & Andrei Shleifer, 2018. "Diagnostic Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 25399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. David F. Hendry, 2020. "A Short History of Macro-econometric Modelling," Economics Papers 2020-W01, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    11. Chen, Xin & Qin, Yaohua & Xiao, He & Zhang, Yifei, 2019. "Microfinancing and Home-purchase Restrictions: Evidence from the Online “Peer-to-Peer” Lending in China," MPRA Paper 95375, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Besley, Timothy J. & Roland, Isabelle & Van Reenen, John, 2020. "The Aggregate Consequences of Default Risk: Evidence from Firm-level Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 14327, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Barasinska, Nataliya & Haenle, Philipp & Koban, Anne & Schmidt, Alexander, 2019. "Stress testing the German mortgage market," Discussion Papers 17/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    14. Fernando Leibovici & David Wiczer, 2019. "Firm-level credit ratings and default in the Great Recession: Theory and evidence," 2019 Meeting Papers 1389, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Jérôme Creel & Paul Hubert & Fabien Labondance, 2020. "Credit, banking fragility and economic performance," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2020-03, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    16. Valérie Chauvin & John Muellbauer, 2018. "Consumption, household portfolios and the housing market in France," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE), issue 500-501-5, pages 157-178.
    17. David Longworth, 2020. "The Era of Digital Financial Innovation: Lessons from Economic History on Regulation," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 568, March.
    18. Ray C. Fair, 2019. "Some Important Macro Points," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2165, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    19. Michel De Vroey, 2019. "Preface to the Chinese Edition of A History of Macroeconomics from Keynes to Lucas and Beyond," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2019006, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises


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