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Shocks, Crises, And Their Determinants

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    (The World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC, 20433, USA)

The current global financial crisis is the most serious both in terms of magnitude and in terms of scope since the Great Depression. No country has been immune to the economic slowdown. In advanced economies, the financial crisis and the global recession that followed the burst of the global financial bubble have brought severe consequences in terms of employment and output. In developing countries, output contraction, growth slowdown, and rising unemployment have come hand in hand with higher borrowing costs, sluggish export growth, and a significant reduction in international capital flows. As a result, poverty has increased. The global financial crisis has left lasting effects on the structure of financial markets, international capital flows, and the cost of capital for developing countries. The efforts of governments and international financial institutions to buffer the impact of the crisis have been quick and aimed in the right direction. However, many risks remain for the road to recovery. This paper provides a brief explanation of how the current global financial crisis originated, and the underlying factors that turned a relatively small collapse in the subprime mortgage market in the United States into a global crisis. It also explores similarities and differences between the current crisis and past experiences. This comparison can provide a better understanding of the main determinants and transmission mechanisms involved, which can help in the design of a better response to the current situation on the one hand, and in the prevention of future crises or minimizations of their impact on the other. Finally, the paper discusses lessons that can be learned for developing countries, focusing on the policies that governments can implement to mitigate the effects of crises and factors that are important for reducing the risks of experiencing a crisis.

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Article provided by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. in its journal Middle East Development Journal.

Volume (Year): 02 (2010)
Issue (Month): 02 ()
Pages: 159-176

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Handle: RePEc:wsi:medjxx:v:02:y:2010:i:02:p:159-176
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  1. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-248, April.
  2. Philip Keefer & Stephen Knack, 2007. "Boondoggles, Rent-Seeking, and Political Checks and Balances: Public Investment under Unaccountable Governments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 566-572, August.
  3. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
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