Jaume Ventura, Vasco Carvalho, Alberto Martin, 09 September 2012

Over the last two decades, US aggregate wealth has fluctuated substantially. This column presents research that takes a first step towards measuring the reasons why. It finds that most recent fluctuations are driven by bubbles and argues that models of rational bubbles with financial frictions can improve our understanding of recent macroeconomic history.

Alberto Martin, Jaume Ventura, 16 February 2011

Modern economies often experience large movements in asset prices that have significant macroeconomic effects. Yet many of these movements in asset prices seem unrelated to economic fundamentals and are often termed “bubbles”. This column explains how recent advances in the theory of rational bubbles can help us to understand these movements in asset prices and their macroeconomic implications.

Gareth Campbell, 23 May 2009

Can financial crises be averted by identifying and dealing with overpriced assets before they cause instability? This column argues that during the British Railway Mania of the 1840s, railway shares were not obviously overpriced, even at the market peak, but prices still fell dramatically. This suggests that extreme asset price reversals can be difficult to forecast and prevent ex ante, and the financial system always needs to be prepared for substantial price declines.

Paul De Grauwe, 14 November 2007

Inflation targeting proponents view central banks’ responsibilities as minimalist. But the subprime crisis shows that central banks cannot avoid taking responsibilities that include the prevention of bubbles and the supervision of all institutions that are in the business of creating credit and liquidity.

Events

CEPR Policy Research