IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Debt and the U.S. Great Moderation

  • Bezemer, Dirk
  • Grydaki, Maria

During the Great Moderation, borrowing by the U.S. nonfinancial sector structurally exceeded GDP growth. Using flow-of-fund data, we test the hypothesis that this measure of debt buildup was leading to lower output volatility. We estimate univariate GARCH models in order to obtain estimates for the volatility of output growth. We use this obtained volatility in a VAR model with excess credit growth and control variables (interest rate and inflation) over two periods, 1954-1978 (before the Great Moderation) and 1984-2008 (during the Great Moderation). We so test whether the relation between excess credit growth and GDP volatility changed between the two periods, controlling for the stance of monetary policy, for inflation, and for the endogeneity of credit to growth (as well as for other endogeneities). Results from Granger causality tests, impulse response functions and forecast error variance decompositions suggest that changes in our ‘excess credit growth’ measure of debt in the nonfinancial sector were among the causal factors of the decline in output volatility during the Great Moderation. We discuss implications.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 47399.

in new window

Date of creation: 05 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47399
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Schularick, Moritz & Taylor, Alan M., 2009. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," CEPR Discussion Papers 7570, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. JONATHAN McCARTHY & EGON ZAKRAJSEK, 2007. "Inventory Dynamics and Business Cycles: What Has Changed?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 591-613, 03.
  3. Matteo Iacoviello, 2005. "House Prices, Borrowing Constraints, and Monetary Policy in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 739-764, June.
  4. Akram, Q. Farooq & Eitrheim, Øyvind, 2008. "Flexible inflation targeting and financial stability: Is it enough to stabilize inflation and output?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1242-1254, July.
  5. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and Micro Levels," NBER Working Papers 14048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
  7. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
  8. Karen E. Dynan & Douglas W. Elmendorf & Daniel E. Sichel, 2005. "Can financial innovation help to explain the reduced volatility of economic activity?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-54, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Stephen Cecchetti & Madhusudan Mohanty & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2011. "The real effects of debt," BIS Working Papers 352, Bank for International Settlements.
  10. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates
    [This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  11. Zakoian, Jean-Michel, 1994. "Threshold heteroskedastic models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 931-955, September.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. James B. Ang, 2007. "A Survey Of Recent Developments In The Literature Of Finance And Growth," Monash Economics Working Papers 03-07, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  14. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  15. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
  16. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
  17. Nir Jaimovich & Henry E. Siu, 2007. "The Young, the Old, and the Restless: Demographics and Business Cycle Volatility," Discussion Papers 07-010, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  18. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2005. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 92, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  19. Jermann, Urban & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2006. "Financial Innovations and Macroeconomic Volatility," CEPR Discussion Papers 5727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Fabrizio Perri & Alessandra Fogli, 2007. "The "great moderation'' and the US external imbalance," 2007 Meeting Papers 41, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  21. Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1994. "Was Prometheus unbound by chance? Risk, diversification and growth," Economics Working Papers 98, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  22. Jean Arcand & Enrico Berkes & Ugo Panizza, 2015. "Too much finance?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 105-148, June.
  23. Grydaki, Maria & Bezemer, Dirk J., 2012. "The Role of Credit in Great Moderation: a Multivariate GARCH Approach," MPRA Paper 39813, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  25. Tim Bollerslev, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 1986/01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  26. Easterly, William & Kremer, Michael & Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Good policy or good luck?: Country growth performance and temporary shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 459-483, December.
  27. Simona Mateut, 2005. "Trade Credit and Monetary Policy Transmission," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 655-670, 09.
  28. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-70, March.
  29. David M. Kemme & Saktinil Roy, 2012. "Did the Recent Housing Boom Signal the Global Financial Crisis?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 999-1018, January.
  30. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Howells, Peter, 2001. "Money, Credit and Spending: Drawing Causal Inferences," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(5), pages 547-57, November.
  31. Borja Larrain, 2006. "Do Banks Affect the Level and Composition of Industrial Volatility?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1897-1925, 08.
  32. Wen-Shwo Fang & Stephen M. Miller, 2008. "The Great Moderation and The Relationship between Output Growth and Its Volatility," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 819-838, January.
  33. Zvi Hercowitz & Jeffrey C. Campbell, 2005. "The Role of Collateralized Household Debt in Macroeconomic Stabilization," 2005 Meeting Papers 120, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  34. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Stephen G Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2005. "Assessing the Sources of Changes in the Volatility of Real Growth," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & David Norman (ed.), The Changing Nature of the Business Cycle Reserve Bank of Australia.
  36. Lubik, Thomas A. & Schorfheide, Frank, 2003. "Computing sunspot equilibria in linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 273-285, November.
  37. Ram C. Acharya & Wolfgang Keller, 2008. "Estimating the Productivity Selection and Technology Spillover Effects of Imports," NBER Working Papers 14079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. William Barnett & Marcelle Chauvet, 2008. "The End of the Great Moderation?," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 200814, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
  39. Bruno Ćorić, 2012. "The Global Extent of the Great Moderation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(4), pages 493-509, 08.
  40. Guerron-Quintana, Pablo A., 2009. "Money demand heterogeneity and the great moderation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 255-266, March.
  41. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47399. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.