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The Economic Crisis of the 1990s in Finland

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  • Honkapohja, Seppo
  • Koskela, Erkki

Abstract

Summary Finland's depression A tale of bad luck and bad policiesIn 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.— Seppo Honkapohja and Erkki Koskela
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  • 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
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    Cited by:

    1. Jaakko Kiander & Pentti Vartia, 2011. "Lessons from the crisis in Finland and Sweden in the 1990s," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 53-69, February.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2001. "Currency crises and monetary policy in an economy with credit constraints," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1121-1150.
    3. Kyyrä, Tomi & Korkeamäki, Ossi, 2008. "A Distributional Analysis of Displacement Costs in an Economic Depression and Recovery," Discussion Papers 465, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Ganghof, Steffen, 2001. "Global markets, national tax systems, and domestic politics: Rebalancing efficiency and equity in open states' income taxation," MPIfG Discussion Paper 01/9, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    5. Appelqvist, Jukka, 2007. "Wage and Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers in Finland," Discussion Papers 422, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

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