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Psychological pitfalls and the next financial crisis

  • Klodt, Henning
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    Since the economic downturn started, exports have fallen dramatically and rapidly. One reason for this is the importance of vertical specialization, where the drop in demand for the final good induces a domino effect on to demand for intermediate inputs. Hence, the strong collapse in exports in the recent month is at least partly driven by the same forces that allowed global trade to expand much faster than global GDP in the last two decades, i.e. global production networks. One view is that after the crisis, these networks will bounce back and trade will be back to normal quite rapidly. We point out, however, that this may be an overly optimistic view. Building global production networks involves substantial set up costs that are often nonrecoverable. These might be sunk costs of exporting or sunk costs of foreign sourcing of inputs. The existence of such costs may make is unlikely that international trade relationships will restart as quickly once the economic situation improves again. Hence, the international crisis may have consequences that go well beyond the prediction of a standard economic model, when the presence of global production networks and sunk costs of building foreign trade nodes are taken into account.

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/32957/1/621188883.pdf
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    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) in its series Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy with number 32957.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:32957
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    1. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
    2. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
    3. Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "From Homo Economicus to Homo Sapiens," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 133-141, Winter.
    4. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
    5. George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
    6. Stephen F. Le Roy, 2004. "Rational Exuberance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 783-804, September.
    7. Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-84, December.
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