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The Political Regime Factor in Austrian Business Cycle Theory: Historically Accounting for the US and Canadian Experiences of the 2007–2009 Financial Crisis

In: Studies in Austrian Macroeconomics

Author

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  • George Bragues

Abstract

Austrian Business Cycle theory (ABCT) has lately drawn increased attention as a result of its ability to explain the US financial crisis of 2007–2009. However, its explanatory power is questioned by the Canadian experience of the crisis, where a similarly loose monetary policy to the United States did not give rise to a similarly calamitous outcome. Accounting for this difference points to the necessity of elaborating the political element already contained in ABCT. This task of political science is most fruitfully done by focusing on the regime, that is, the distribution of the state’s offices and powers. These shape the incentives and ideals that move political action toward the financial sector. Though both Canada and the United States have democratic regimes, their origins and historical development have caused these to vary in significant ways. These variances largely clarify why the negative consequences of easy money predicted by ABCT were less pronounced in Canada than the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • George Bragues, 2016. "The Political Regime Factor in Austrian Business Cycle Theory: Historically Accounting for the US and Canadian Experiences of the 2007–2009 Financial Crisis," Advances in Austrian Economics, in: Steven Horwitz (ed.), Studies in Austrian Macroeconomics, volume 20, pages 137-161, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:aaeczz:s1529-213420160000020007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles W. Calomiris & Stephen H. Haber, 2015. "Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10177-2.
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    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters, in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press.
    5. Charles Freedman, 1998. "The Canadian Banking System," Technical Reports 81, Bank of Canada.
    6. Selgin, George & Lastrapes, William D. & White, Lawrence H., 2012. "Has the Fed been a failure?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 569-596.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Politics of banking; business cycles; financial crises; financial regulation; E42; G01; G28; N21; N22;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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