Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Second Great Contraction

Reinhart, Carmen (2009): The Second Great Contraction.

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Abstract

The global scope and depth of the 2007-2009 crisis is unprecedented in the post World War II period. As such, the most relevant comparison benchmark is the Great Depression, or the Great Contraction as dubbed by Friedman and Schwartz (1963). We highlight some of the similarities between these two episodes and extend our analysis of the aftermath of severe financial crises to include the most severe post-WWII crises as well. As to the causes of these great crises, we focus on those factors that are common across time and geography; we discriminate between root causes of the crisis, its symptoms, and features such as financial regulation which serve as amplifiers of the boom-bust cycle.

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