Jan Hannes Lang, Peter Welz, 11 March 2019

Financial crises are often preceded by credit excesses, but how do we know when credit is excessive? This column shows that deviations of household credit from levels that are justified by economic fundamentals exhibit long cycles of 15 to 25 years with large amplitudes of around 20%. Household credit excesses build up many years ahead of financial crises and only gradually unwind thereafter. Most importantly, higher levels of household credit imbalances are associated with larger declines in real GDP once a financial crisis hits. The findings suggest that household credit cycles should be carefully monitored by macroprudential policymakers to ensure financial stability.

Thomas Philippon, Virgiliu Midrigan, 16 May 2011

In the recent US recession, those states which saw the biggest increases in household leverage during the credit boom suffered greatest hits to output and employment rates. The authors of CEPR DP 8381 try to understand this anomaly with a new model of a cash-in-advance economy, where economic activity is highly sensitive to credit conditions. They argue that this framework supports the use of expansionary monetary policy to mitigate recessions.

Thorsten Beck, Berrak Buyukkarabacak, Felix Rioja, Neven Valev, 09 July 2009

How does financial development affect macroeconomic outcomes? Previous studies have relied on aggregate measures. This column introduces a data set that distinguishes between lending to enterprises and households and investigates the consequences for economic growth, income inequality, and consumption smoothing.

Events

CEPR Policy Research