Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2615738
 


 



Central Bank Balance Sheets: Expansion and Reduction Since 1900


Niall Ferguson


Harvard University - Department of History; Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace

Andreas Schaab


Harvard Business School

Moritz Schularick


Free University of Berlin (FUB)

May 31, 2015

CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5379

Abstract:     
In this paper we study the evolution of central banks’ balance sheets in 12 advanced economies since 1900. We find that balance sheet size in most developed countries has fluctuated within rather clearly defined bands relative to output. Historically, clusters of big expansions and contractions of balance sheets have been associated with periods of geopolitical or financial crisis. Relative to the size of the financial sector, central bank balance sheets had shrunk dramatically in the three decades preceding the global financial crisis. By that yardstick, their recent expansion partly marks a return to earlier levels.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: central banks, monetary policy, financial history

JEL Classification: E510, E580, N100


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Date posted: June 9, 2015  

Suggested Citation

Ferguson, Niall and Schaab, Andreas and Schularick, Moritz, Central Bank Balance Sheets: Expansion and Reduction Since 1900 (May 31, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5379. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2615738

Contact Information

Niall Ferguson
Harvard University - Department of History ( email )
Cambridge, MA
United States
Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace
Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
Andreas Schaab
Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Moritz Schularick (Contact Author)
Free University of Berlin (FUB) ( email )
Lansstr. 7-9
Berlin 14195, 14195
Germany
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