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The failure to predict the Great Recession. The failure of academic economics? A view focusing on the role of credit

  • Maria Dolores Gadea Rivas

    ()

    (University of Zaragoza)

  • Gabriel Perez-Quiros

    ()

    (Banco de España y CEPR)

Much has been written about why economists failed to predict the latest financial and real crisis. Reading the recent literature, it seems that the crisis was so obvious that economists must have been blind when looking at data not to see it coming. In this paper, we analyze whether such claims are justified by looking at one of the most cited and relevant variables in this analysis, the now infamous credit to GDP chart. We compare the conclusions reached in the literature after the crisis with the results that could have been drawn from an ex ante analysis. We show that, even though credit affects the business cycle in both the expansion and the recession phases, this effect is almost negligible and impossible to exploit from a policymaker’s point of view.

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File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/12/Fich/dt1240e.pdf
File Function: First version, December 2012
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Paper provided by Banco de Espa�a in its series Banco de Espa�a Working Papers with number 1240.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:1240
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  1. Gertler, Mark & Karadi, Peter, 2011. "A model of unconventional monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-34, January.
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  18. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, November.
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