Crises and Growth: A Re-Evaluation

UPF Economics and Business Working Paper 852

48 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2005

See all articles by Romain G. Rancière

Romain G. Rancière

University of Southern California

Aaron Tornell

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Frank Westermann

University of Osnabrueck - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2002

Abstract

We address the question of whether growth and welfare can be higher in crisis prone economies. First, we show that there is a robust empirical link between per-capita GDP growth and negative skewness of credit growth across countries with active financial markets. That is, countries that have experienced occasional crises have grown on average faster than countries with smooth credit conditions. We then present a two-sector endogenous growth model in which financial crises can occur, and analyze the relationship between financial fragility and growth. The underlying credit market imperfections generate borrowing constraints, bottlenecks and low growth. We show that under certain conditions endogenous real exchange rate risk arises and firms find it optimal to take on credit risk in the form of currency mismatch. Along such a risky path average growth is higher, but self-fulfilling crises occur occasionally. Furthermore, we establish conditions under which the adoption of credit risk is welfare improving and brings the allocation nearer to the Pareto optimal level. The design of the model is motivated by several features of recent crises: credit risk in the form of foreign currency denominated debt; costly crises that generate firesales and widespread bankruptcies; and asymmetric sectorial responses, where the nontradables sector falls more than the tradables sector in the wake of crises.

Keywords: Bailouts, bottlenecks, credit market imperfections, currency mismatch, financial fragility, macroeconomic voliatility

JEL Classification: F34, F36, F43, O41

Suggested Citation

Rancière, Romain G. and Tornell, Aaron and Westermann, Frank, Crises and Growth: A Re-Evaluation (May 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=860944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.860944

Romain G. Rancière (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Aaron Tornell

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 951477
Bunche Hall 8387
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States
310-794-1686 (Phone)
310-825-9528 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Frank Westermann

University of Osnabrueck - Department of Economics ( email )

Rolandstr. 8
Osnabrueck, D-49069
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

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