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Aggregate Price Shocks and Financial Instability: A Historical Analysis

  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Michael J. Dueker
  • David C. Wheelock

This article presents evidence on the relationship between price and financial stability. We construct an annual index of financial conditions for the United States, 1790--1997, and estimate the effect of aggregate price shocks on the index using a dynamic ordered probit model. We find that price-level shocks contributed to financial instability during 1790--1933 and that inflation rate shocks contributed to financial instability during 1980--97. The size of the aggregate price shock needed to alter financial conditions depends on the institutional environment, but we conclude that a monetary policy focused on price stability would contribute to financial stability. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 40 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 521-538

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:40:y:2002:i:4:p:521-538
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  1. Michael Dueker, 1998. "Conditional heteroskedasticity in qualitative response models of time series: a Gibbs sampling approach to the bank prime rate," Working Papers 1998-011, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1991. "Asymmetric Information and Financial Crises: A Historical Perspective," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets and Financial Crises, pages 69-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr. & R. Alton Gilbert, 1989. "Bank runs and private remedies," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 43-61.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1999. "The twin crises: The causes of banking and balance of payments problems," MPRA Paper 14081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Weber, Ernst Juerg, 1986. "The causes of bank failures: deflationary spells," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 359-362.
  6. Barry Eichengreen and Richard S. Grossman., 1994. "Debt Deflation and Financial Instability: Two Historical Explorations," Economics Working Papers 94-231, University of California at Berkeley.
  7. Michael D. Bordo & Michael J. Dueker & David C. Wheelock, 2002. "Aggregate Price Shocks and Financial Instability: A Historical Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 521-538, October.
  8. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1997. "Monetary Policy Regimes and Economic Performance: The Historical Record," NBER Working Papers 6201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Milton Friedman & Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1970. "Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie70-1.
  10. Charles Calomiris & David Wheelock, 1998. "Was the Great Depression a Watershed for American Monetary Policy?," NBER Chapters, in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 23-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Barsky, Robert B., 1987. "The Fisher hypothesis and the forecastability and persistence of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, January.
  12. Chib, Siddhartha, 1996. "Calculating posterior distributions and modal estimates in Markov mixture models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 79-97, November.
  13. Eichengreen, Barry & Watson, Mark W & Grossman, Richard S, 1985. "Bank Rate Policy under the Interwar Gold Standard: A Dynamic Probit Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 725-45, September.
  14. Gray, Jo Anna & Spencer, David E, 1990. "Price Prediction Errors and Real Activity: A Reassessment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 658-81, October.
  15. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
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