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Minsky Moments, Russell Chickens, and Gray Swans--The Methodological Puzzles of the Financial Instability Analysis

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  • Alessandro Vercelli

Abstract

The recent revival of Hyman P. Minsky's ideas among policymakers, economists, bankers, financial institutions, and the mass media, synchronized with the increasing gravity of the subprime financial crisis, demands a reappraisal of the meaning and scope of the "financial instability hypothesis" (FIH). We argue that we need a broader approach than that conventionally pursued, in order to understand not only financial crises but also the periods of financial calm between them and the transition from stability to instability. In this paper we aim to contribute to this challenging task by restating the strictly financial part of the FIH on the basis of a generalization of Minsky's taxonomy of economic units. In light of this restatement, we discuss a few methodological issues that have to be clarified in order to develop the FIH in the most promising direction.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Vercelli, 2009. "Minsky Moments, Russell Chickens, and Gray Swans--The Methodological Puzzles of the Financial Instability Analysis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_582, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_582
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    Cited by:

    1. Rozite, Kristiana & Bezemer, Dirk J. & Jacobs, Jan P.A.M., 2019. "Towards a financial cycle for the U.S., 1973–2014," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial Instability; Financial Fragility; Financial Fluctuations; Subprime Crisis; Minsky Moments; Minsky Meltdown; Speculative Units; Hedge Units; Ponzi Units; Business Cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • 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
    • G - Financial Economics

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