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The Myth of Financial Innovation and the Great Moderation

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  • Den Haan, Wouter
  • Sterk, Vincent

Abstract

Financial innovation is widely believed to be at least partly responsible for the recent financial crisis. At the same time, there are empirical and theoretical arguments that support the view that changes in financial markets played a role in the "great moderation". If both are true, then the price of reducing the likelihood of another crisis, e.g., through new regulation, could be giving up another episode of sustained growth and low volatility. However, this paper questions empirical evidence supporting the view that innovation in consumer credit and home mortgages reduced cyclical variations of key economic variables. We find that especially the behaviour of aggregate home mortgages changed less during the great moderation than is typically believed. For example, aggregate home mortgages declined during monetary tightenings, both before and during the great moderation. A remarkable change we do find is that monetary tightenings became episodes during which financial institutions other than banks increased their holdings in mortgages. Once can question the desirability of such strong substitutions of ownership during economic downturns.

Suggested Citation

  • Den Haan, Wouter & Sterk, Vincent, 2009. "The Myth of Financial Innovation and the Great Moderation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7507
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Urban J. Jermann & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2006. "Financial innovations and macroeconomic volatility," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    2. Stephen G Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2005. "Assessing the Sources of Changes in the Volatility of Real Growth," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: Christopher Kent & David Norman (ed.),The Changing Nature of the Business Cycle, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Iacoviello, Matteo & Pavan, Marina, 2013. "Housing and debt over the life cycle and over the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 221-238.
    4. Jean Boivin & Marc Giannoni, 2002. "Assessing changes in the monetary transmission mechanism: a VAR approach," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 8(May), pages 97-111.
    5. Jonathan McCarthy & Richard Peach, 2002. "Monetary policy transmission to residential investment," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 8(May), pages 139-158.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. "The Elevated Position of the Financial Sector"
      by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2011-10-27 12:24:00
    2. "The Elevated Position of the Financial Sector"
      by Economists View in FavStocks on 2011-10-28 15:02:14

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    Cited by:

    1. Punzi, Maria Teresa, 2016. "Financial cycles and co-movements between the real economy, finance and asset price dynamics in large-scale crises," FinMaP-Working Papers 61, Collaborative EU Project FinMaP - Financial Distortions and Macroeconomic Performance: Expectations, Constraints and Interaction of Agents.
    2. Grydaki, Maria & Bezemer, Dirk, 2013. "The role of credit in the Great Moderation: A multivariate GARCH approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4615-4626.
    3. Punzi, Maria Teresa & Kauko, Karlo, 2015. "Testing the global banking glut hypothesis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 128-151.
    4. Boris Hofmann & Gert Peersman, 2017. "Monetary Policy Transmission and Trade-offs in the United States: Old and New," CESifo Working Paper Series 6745, CESifo.
    5. Roland Meeks & Benjamin Nelson & Piergiorgio Alessandri, 2017. "Shadow Banks and Macroeconomic Instability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(7), pages 1483-1516, October.
    6. Darracq Pariès, Matthieu & Karadi, Peter & Körner, Jenny & Kok, Christoffer & Mazelis, Falk & Nikolov, Kalin & Rancoita, Elena & Van der Ghote, Alejandro & Weber, Julien & Cozzi, Gabriele, 2020. "Macroprudential policy measures: macroeconomic impact and interaction with monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2376, European Central Bank.
    7. Eickmeier, Sandra & Ng, Tim, 2015. "How do US credit supply shocks propagate internationally? A GVAR approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 128-145.
    8. Steven Cassou & Jesús Vázquez, 2014. "Employment comovements at the sectoral level over the business cycle," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 1301-1323, June.
    9. Stefan Gebauer & Falk Mazelis, 2019. "Macroprudential Regulation and Leakage to the Shadow Banking Sector," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1814, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Andrew C. Chang & Phillip Li, 2018. "Measurement Error In Macroeconomic Data And Economics Research: Data Revisions, Gross Domestic Product, And Gross Domestic Income," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(3), pages 1846-1869, July.
    11. Gaetano Antinolfi & Celso Brunetti, 2013. "Economic volatility and financial markets: the case of mortgage-backed securities," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Ion ANGHEL & Anca Maria HRISTEA, 2018. "Private brand – differentiating concept and source of stimulation of the Romanian retail trade," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(3(616), A), pages 5-24, Autumn.
    13. Joanna Błach, 2020. "Barriers to Financial Innovation—Corporate Finance Perspective," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(11), pages 1-23, November.
    14. Richard Higgins, C., 2020. "Financial frictions and changing macroeconomic volatility," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    15. Giraitis, Liudas & Kapetanios, George & Theodoridis, Konstantinos & Yates, Tony, 2014. "Estimating time-varying DSGE models using minimum distance methods," Bank of England working papers 507, Bank of England.
    16. Falk Mazelis, 2014. "Monetary Policy Effects on Financial Intermediation via the Regulated and the Shadow Banking Systems," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-056, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    17. Gebauer, Stefan & Mazelis, Falk, 2018. "The Role of Shadow Banking for Financial Regulation," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181581, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. Falk Mazelis, 2015. "The Role of Shadow Banking in the Monetary Transmission Mechanism and the Business Cycle," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2015-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    19. Sangyup Choi, 2018. "Bank Lending Standards, Loan Demand, and the Macroeconomy: Evidence from the Emerging Market Bank Loan Officer Survey," Working papers 2018rwp-126, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    20. Boštjan Jazbec & Uroš Herman & Matija Lozej, 2014. "Synchronization and decoupling of cycles in Slovenia," Chapters, in: Ewald Nowotny & Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald & Peter Backé (ed.), Financial Cycles and the Real Economy, chapter 6, pages 77-95, Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    consumer credit; impulse response functions; mortgages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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