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Inequality, Leverage and Crises

  • Romain Ranciere

    (PSE and IMF)

  • Michael Kumhof

    (IMF)

The paper studies how high leverage and crises can arise as a result of changes in the income distribution. Empirically, the periods 1920-1929 and 1983-2007 both exhibited a large increase in the income share of the rich, a large increase in leverage for the remainder, and an eventual financial and real crisis. The paper presents a theoretical model where these features arise endogenously as a result of a shift in bargaining powers over incomes. A financial crisis can reduce leverage if it is very large and not accompanied by a real contraction. But restoration of the lower income groupâs bargaining power is more effective.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 1374.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1374
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. Romain Ranciere & Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann, 2002. "Systemic Crises and Growth," Working Papers 190, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2010. ""Unfunded Liabilities" and Uncertain Fiscal Financing," NBER Working Papers 15782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Generalizing the Taylor principle," Research Working Paper RWP 05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  4. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States, 1967-2006," NBER Working Papers 15483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2007. "Bequest and Tax Planning: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1801-1854, November.
  6. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2010. "Earnings Inequality and Mobility in the United States: Evidence from Social Security Data since 1937," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 91-128, February.
  7. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Working Papers 11212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362, February.
  9. Juillard, Michel & Laxton, Douglas & McAdam, Peter & Pioro, Hope, 1998. "An algorithm competition: First-order iterations versus Newton-based techniques," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1291-1318, August.
  10. Davig, Troy, 2004. "Regime-switching debt and taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 837-859, May.
  11. Barro, Robert, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 3208215, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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