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Financial innovation, the discovery of risk, and the U.S. credit crisis

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  • Boz, Emine
  • Mendoza, Enrique G.

Abstract

Financial innovation and overconfidence about the risk of new financial products were key factors behind the 2008 U.S. credit crisis. We show that a model with a collateral constraint in which learning about the risk of a new financial environment interacts with Fisherian amplification produces a boom–bust cycle in debt, asset prices and consumption. Early realizations of a high-borrowing-ability regime turn agents optimistic about the persistence probability of this regime. Conversely, the first realization of a low-borrowing-ability regime turns agents unduly pessimistic. The model predicts large increases in household debt, land prices and excess returns during 1998–2006 followed by a collapse.

Suggested Citation

  • Boz, Emine & Mendoza, Enrique G., 2014. "Financial innovation, the discovery of risk, and the U.S. credit crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:62:y:2014:i:c:p:1-22
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2013.07.001
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    Keywords

    Credit crisis; Financial innovation; Imperfect information; Learning; Asset prices; Fisherian amplification; Anticipated utility;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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