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Systemic Crises and Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Romain Rancière

    (PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, IMF - International Monetary Fund - International Monetary Fund (IMF))

  • Aaron Tornell

    (UCLA - University of California [Los Angeles] - University of California, NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research - NBER)

  • Frank Westermann

    (University of Osnabrueck - University of Osnabrueck, CESifo - CESifo)

Abstract

Countries that have experienced occasional financial crises have, on average, grown faster than countries with stable financial conditions. Because financial crises are realizations of downside risk, we measure their incidence by the skewness of credit growth. Unlike variance, negative skewness isolates the impact of the large, infrequent, and abrupt credit busts associated with crises. We find a robust negative link between skewness and GDP growth in a large sample of countries over 1960-2000. This suggests a positive effect of systemic risk on growth. To explain this finding, we present a model in which contract enforceability problems generate borrowing constraints and impede growth. In financially liberalized economies with moderate contract enforceability, systemic risk taking is encouraged and increases investment. This leads to higher mean growth but also to greater incidence of crises. In the data, the link between skewness and growth is indeed strongest in such economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Romain Rancière & Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann, 2008. "Systemic Crises and Growth," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-00754308, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-00754308
    DOI: 10.1162/qjec.2008.123.1.359
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00754308
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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