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CEP discussion paper

Financial Crises and Macro-Prudential Policies


Stochastic general equilibrium models of small open economies with occasionally binding financial frictions are capable of mimicking both the business cycles and the crisis events associated with the sudden stop in access to credit markets (Mendoza, 2010). In this paper we study the inefficiencies associated with borrowing decisions in a two-sector small open production economy. We find that this economy is much more likely to display 'under-borrowing' rather than 'over-borrowing' in normal times. As a result, macro-prudential policies (i.e. Tobin taxes or economy-wide controls on capital inflows) are costly in welfare terms in our economy. Moreover, we show that macro-prudential policies aimed at minimizing the probability of the crisis event might be welfare-reducing in production economies. Our analysis shows that there is a much larger scope for welfare gains from policy interventions during financial crises. That is to say that, within our modeling approach, ex post or crisis-management policies dominate ex ante or macro-prudential ones.


Gianluca Benigno, Huigang Chen, Christopher Otrok, Alessandro Rebucci and Eric R. Young

December 2010     Paper Number CEPDP1032

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Trade programme.