The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08: Is it Unprecedented?

58 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2010  

Michael D. Bordo

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John S. Landon-Lane

Rutgers University, New Brunswick/Piscataway - Faculty of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick/Piscataway - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 2010

Abstract

This paper compares the recent global crisis and recession to earlier international financial crises and recessions. Based on existing chronologies of banking, currency and debt crises we identify clusters of crises. We use an identification of extreme events and a weighting scheme based on real GDP relative to the U.S. to identify global financial crises since 1880. For banking crises we identify five global ones since 1880: 1890-91, 1907-08, 1913-14, 1931-32, 2007-2008.In terms of global incidence the recent crisis is fourth in ranking and comparable to 1907-08. We also calculate output losses during the recessions associated with global financial crises and again the recent crisis is similar in severity to 1907-08 and is fourth in ranking. On both dimensions the recent crisis is a pale shadow of the Great depression. The relatively mild experience of the recent crisis may reflect institutional and policy learning.

Suggested Citation

Bordo, Michael D. and Landon-Lane, John S., The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08: Is it Unprecedented? (December 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16589. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1723017

Michael D. Bordo (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

John S. Landon-Lane

Rutgers University, New Brunswick/Piscataway - Faculty of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick/Piscataway - Department of Economics ( email )

75 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

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