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Payments Crises and Consequences

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  • Qian Chen
  • Christoffer Koch
  • Padma Sharma
  • Gary Richardson

Abstract

Banking-system shutdowns during contractions scar economies. Four times in the last forty years, governors suspended payments from state-insured depository institutions. Suspensions of payments in Nebraska (1983), Ohio (1985), and Maryland (1985), which were short and occurred during expansions, had little measurable impact on macroeconomic aggregates. Rhode Island’s payments crisis (1991), which was prolonged and occurred during a recession, lengthened and deepened the downturn. Unemployment increased. Output declined, possibly permanently relative to what might have been. We document these effects using a novel Bayesian method for synthetic control that characterizes the principal types of uncertainty in this form of analysis. Our findings suggest policies that ensure banks continue to process payments during contractions – including the bailouts of financial institutions in 2008 and the unprecedented support of the financial system during the COVID crisis – have substantial value.

Suggested Citation

  • Qian Chen & Christoffer Koch & Padma Sharma & Gary Richardson, 2020. "Payments Crises and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 27733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27733
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C01 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Econometrics
    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • 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
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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