IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Economic Crisis of the 1990s in Finland


  • Honkapohja, Seppo
  • Koskela, Erkki


"In the 1990s, Finland underwent a deep depression as its GDP dropped about 14% and unemployment rose from 3 to almost 20%. This is a story of bad luck and bad policies. Bad luck took the form of external shocks: the collapse of trade with the former Soviet Union in 1991, but also sharp cycles in the OECD area. However, bad luck is far from being the whole story. In the absence of bad policies, Finland would have experienced a recession, not a depression. Bad policies included a poorly designed financial regulation and mistaken reactions to the onset of the crisis. Of particular interest is the role of financial factors in triggering the crisis and aggravating the effects of bad policies. Not only were consumption and investment spending hurt by the credit crunch, but there is evidence that the private sector's indebtedness has increased structural unemployment, which explains why the recovery is proceeding with few job creations. A number of general lessons emerge. They concern the deregulation of financial markets, the policy reaction to massive capital inflows and the role of employment policies." Copyright Centre for Economic Policy Research, Center for Economic Studies, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 1999.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Honkapohja, Seppo & Koskela, Erkki, 2002. "The Economic Crisis of the 1990s in Finland," Discussion Papers 683, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:683

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1996. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-15, February.
    2. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    3. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1995. "Is there a "credit channel" for monetary policy?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 63-77.
    4. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," NBER Working Papers 5332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
    6. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Capital Flows to Emerging Markets: Liberalization, Overshooting, and Volatility," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 61-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "Is There a `Credit Channel' for Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 4977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Ellingsen, Tore & Holden, Steinar, 1997. "Indebtedness and Unemployment: A Durable Relationship," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 186, Stockholm School of Economics.
    9. Chevalier, Judith A & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Countercyclical Markups: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 703-725, September.
    10. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1999. "What caused the Asian currency and financial crisis?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-373, October.
    11. Assar Lindbeck, 1997. "The Swedish Experiment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1273-1319, September.
    12. Agell, J. & Berg, L. & Edin, P.A., 1995. "Tax Reform, Consumption and Asset Structure," Papers 1995-17, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    13. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
    14. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1995. "Is there a "credit channel" for monetary policy?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 63-77.
    15. Sebastian Edwards, 1998. "Capital Inflows into Latin America: A Stop-Go Story?," NBER Working Papers 6441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Bacchetta, Philippe & Gerlach, Stefan, 1997. "Consumption and credit constraints: International evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 207-238, October.
    17. Hali J. Edison & Pongsak Luangaram & Marcus Miller, 1998. "Asset bubbles, domino effects and 'lifeboats': elements of the East Asian crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 606, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. Stephen D. Oliner & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1996. "Is there a broad credit channel for monetary policy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-13.
    19. Velasco, A. & Chang, R., 1998. "The Asian Liquidity Crisis," Working Papers 98-27, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    20. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1995. "Distinguishing theories of the monetary transmission mechanism," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 83-97.
    21. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    22. Ceyla PazarbaÅŸioÄŸlu, 1997. "A Credit Crunch? Finland in the Aftermath of the Banking Crisis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(3), pages 315-327, September.
    23. Koskela, Erkki & Vilmunen, Jouko, 1996. "Tax progression is good for employment in popular models of trade union behaviour," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 65-80, August.
    24. Seppo Honkapohja & Erkki Koskela & Jouko Paunio, 1996. "The depression of the 1990s in Finland : an analytic view," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 37-54, Spring.
    25. Burkhard Drees & Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, 1995. "The Nordic Banking Crises; Pitfalls in Financial Liberalization?," IMF Working Papers 95/61, International Monetary Fund.
    26. Agell, Jonas & Berg, Lennart, 1996. " Does Financial Deregulation Cause a Consumption Boom?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(4), pages 579-601, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:683. 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: (Kaija Hyvönen-Rajecki). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.