Title

Rethinking Housing Bubbles: The Role Of Household And Bank Balance Sheets In Modeling Economic Cycles

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Balance sheet crises, in which the prices of widely held and highly leveraged assets collapse, pose distinctive economic challenges. An understanding of their causes and consequences is only recently developing, and there is no agreement on effective policy responses. From backgrounds in experimental economics, Steven Gjerstad and Nobel laureate Vernon L. Smith examine events that led to and resulted from the recent U.S. housing bubble and collapse, as a case study in the formation and propagation of balance sheet crises. They then examine all previous downturns in the U.S. economy, including the Great Depression, and document substantive differences between the recurrent features of economic cycles and financial crises and the beliefs that public officials hold about them, especially within the Federal Reserve System. They conclude with an examination of similar events in other countries and assess alternative strategies to contain financial crises and to recover from them.

Comments

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Peer Reviewed

1

Copyright

Cambridge University Press