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A Theory of Minsky Super-cycles and Financial Crises

  • Thomas I. Palley

This paper argues that Hyman Minsky's financial instability hypothesis weaves together a medium term Keynesian approach to the business cycles in the spirit of Samuelson (1936) and Hicks (1950) with long cycle thinking of economists such as Schumpeter (1939) and Kondratieff. Post Keynesians have devoted considerable attention to the medium term dimension of Minsky's thinking. The current paper concentrates on the long swing dimension and introduces the idea of "Minsky super-cycles." It is the supercycle that ultimately permits financial crisis. Whereas financially driven business cycles occur every decade, financial crises occur over longer durations reflecting the longer phase of the super-cycle.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cpe/bzr004
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Contributions to Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 31-46

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Handle: RePEc:oup:copoec:v:30:y:2011:i:1:p:31-46
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  1. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
  2. Domenico Delli Gatti & Mauro Gallegati & Hyman P. Minsky, 1999. "Financial Institutions, Economic Policy, and the Dynamic Behavior of the Economy," Macroeconomics 9903009, EconWPA.
  3. Ferri, Piero & Minsky, Hyman P., 1992. "Market processes and thwarting systems," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 79-91, June.
  4. Foley, Duncan K., 1987. "Liquidity-profit rate cycles in a capitalist economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 363-376, September.
  5. Paul Davidson, 1991. "Is Probability Theory Relevant for Uncertainty? A Post Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 129-143, Winter.
  6. David Dequech, 1999. "Expectations and Confidence under Uncertainty," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 21(3), pages 415-430, April.
  7. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1994. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," NBER Working Papers 4789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mark Setterfield, 1997. "Should Economists Dispense with the Notion of Equilibrium?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 20(1), pages 47-76, October.
  9. Hyman P. Minsky, 1992. "The Financial Instability Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_74, Levy Economics Institute.
  10. L. Randall Wray, 2008. "Financial Markets Meltdown: What Can We Learn from Minsky," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_94, Levy Economics Institute.
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