The Mortgage Meltdown as Normal Accidental Wrongdoing

Strategic Organization, Forthcoming

20 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2009

See all articles by Michael W. Maher

Michael W. Maher

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Donald Palmer

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Date Written: November 19, 2009

Abstract

We analyze the mortgage meltdown as a “normal accident” (Perrow, 1984). We begin by briefly outlining normal accident theory; both Perrow’s original version and Mezias’ (1994) subsequent extension. We then use normal accident theory to analyze the mortgage meltdown and draw a few insights from our account. We then consider the relationship between normal accidents and wrongdoing; a vexing question for both normal accident theory and observers of the meltdown. We conclude by briefly contemplating the policy implications of our analysis.

Keywords: Mortgage Meltdown, Financial Crisis, Normal Accident

JEL Classification: A13, A14, E44, K29

Suggested Citation

Maher, Michael W. and Palmer, Don, The Mortgage Meltdown as Normal Accidental Wrongdoing (November 19, 2009). Strategic Organization, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1509500

Michael W. Maher

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
530-752-7034 (Phone)
530-752-0723 (Fax)

Don Palmer (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
(530) 752-8566 (Phone)

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