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A reconsideration of Minsky’s financial instabilityhypothesis

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  • Bhattacharya, Sudipto
  • Goodhart, Charles
  • Tsomocos, Dimitrios P.
  • Vardoulakis, Alexandros P.

Abstract

The worst and longest depressions have tended to occur after periods of prolonged, and reasonably stable, prosperity. This results in part from agents rationally updating their expectations during good times and hence becoming more optimistic about future economic prospects. Investors then increase their leverage and shift their portfolios towards projects that would previously have been considered too risky. So, when a downturn does eventually occur, the financial crisis, and the extent of default, become more severe. Whereas a general appreciation of this syndrome dates back to Minsky [1992, Jerome Levy Economics Institute, WP 74] and even beyond, to Irving Fisher [1933, Econometrica 1, 337-357], we model it formally. In addition, endogenous default introduces a pecuniary externality, since investors do not factor in the impact of their decision to take risk and default on the borrowing cost. We explore the relative advantages of alternative regulations in reducing financial fragility, and suggest a novel criterion for improvement of aggregate welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Goodhart, Charles & Tsomocos, Dimitrios P. & Vardoulakis, Alexandros P., 2015. "A reconsideration of Minsky’s financial instabilityhypothesis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64218, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:64218
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eugenio Caverzasi & Daniele Tori, 2018. "The Financial Innovation Hypothesis: Schumpeter, Minsky and the sub-prime mortgage crisis," LEM Papers Series 2018/36, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    2. Maria Nikolaidi & Engelbert Stockhammer, 2017. "Minsky Models: A Structured Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 1304-1331, December.
    3. Adam B. Barrett, 2017. "Stability of zero-growth economics analysed with a Minskyan model," Papers 1704.08161, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2017.
    4. Engelbert Stockhammer & Giorgos Gouzoulis & Rob Calvert Jump, 2019. "Debt-driven business cycles in historical perspective: The cases of the USA (1889-2015) and UK (1882-2010)," Working Papers PKWP1907, Post Keynesian Economics Society (PKES).
    5. Augusto de la Torre & Alain Ize, 2016. "The Conceptual Foundations of Macroprudential Policy: A Roadmap," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 333-352, December.
    6. Jon Danielsson & Marcela Valenzuela & Ilknur Zer, 2018. "Learning from History: Volatility and Financial Crises," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(7), pages 2774-2805.
    7. repec:eee:ecofin:v:46:y:2018:i:c:p:89-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Basak, Deepal & Murray, Alexander & Zhao, Yunhui, 2017. "Does Financial Tranquility Call for More Stringent Regulation?," MPRA Paper 81373, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Schüler, Yves S. & Hiebert, Paul P. & Peltonen, Tuomas A., 2017. "Coherent financial cycles for G-7 countries: Why extending credit can be an asset," ESRB Working Paper Series 43, European Systemic Risk Board.
    10. Maria Nikolaidi, 2017. "Three decades of modelling Minsky: what we have learned and the way forward," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 14(2), pages 222-237, September.
    11. Gabriele Galati & Richhild Moessner, 2018. "What Do We Know About the Effects of Macroprudential Policy?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 85(340), pages 735-770, October.
    12. repec:wfo:wstudy:60979 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:finsta:v:29:y:2017:i:c:p:92-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:eee:quaeco:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:308-321 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:eee:ecofin:v:48:y:2019:i:c:p:567-581 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Danielsson, Jon & Macrae, Robert & Tsomocos, Dimitrios P. & Zigrand, Jean-Pierre, 2016. "Why macropru can end up being procyclical," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 70711, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. repec:clh:resear:v:8:y:2015:i:34 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial instability; Minsky; risk taking; leverage; optimism; procyclicality;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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