Is the Crisis Problem Growing More Severe?
Michael Bordo, Barry Eichengreen, Daniela Klingebiel and Maria Soledad Martinez-PeriaDecember 2000
"The crisis problem is one of the dominant macroeconomic features of our age. Its
prominence suggests questions like the following: Are crises growing more frequent? Are they
becoming more disruptive? Are economies taking longer to recover? These are fundamentally
historical questions, which can be answered only by comparing the present with the past. To this end,
this paper develops and analyzes a database spanning 120 years of financial history. We find that
crisis frequency since 1973 has been double that of the Bretton Woods and classical gold standard
periods and is rivaled only by the crisis-ridden 1920s and 1930s. History thus confirms that there is
something different and disturbing about our age. However, there is little evidence that crises have
grown longer or output losses have become larger..."
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