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The costs of deflations: a historical perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Claudio Borio
  • Magdalena Erdem
  • Andrew Filardo
  • Boris Hofmann

Abstract

Concerns about deflation - falling prices of goods and services - are rooted in the view that it is very costly. We test the historical link between output growth and deflation in a sample covering 140 years for up to 38 economies. The evidence suggests that this link is weak and derives largely from the Great Depression. But we find a stronger link between output growth and asset price deflations, particularly during postwar property price deflations. We fail to uncover evidence that high debt has so far raised the cost of goods and services price deflations, in so-called debt deflations. The most damaging interaction appears to be between property price deflations and private debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudio Borio & Magdalena Erdem & Andrew Filardo & Boris Hofmann, 2015. "The costs of deflations: a historical perspective," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:bisqtr:1503e
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

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