Òscar Jordà is Professor of Economics at the University of California Davis. He obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California, San Diego. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Empirical Economics, and the Journal of Econometric Methods. He has consulted for the European Central Bank and the Bank of Korea, and has been a visiting scholar for the Federal Reserve Board and the Banco de Chile. He is currently a visiting scholar with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. His research spans monetary and international economics, time series methods for macroeconomics, and forecasting. Recent contributions have appeared in American Economic Review, International Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economics and Statistics and several other journals.
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This paper answers fundamental questions that have preoccupied modern economic thought since the 18th century.
This paper studies the role of credit in the business cycle, with a focus on private credit overhang.
Two separate narratives have emerged in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. One interpretation speaks of private financial excess and the key role of the banking system in leveraging and deleveraging the economy. The other emphasizes the public sector balance sheet over the private and worries about the risks of lax fiscal policies. However, the two may interact in important and understudied ways.
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, few would dispute the risks of excessive borrowing. But which debts should one worry about – public or private? This column presents new research on the interplay of public and private debts since 1870 in 17 advanced economies. History demonstrates that excessive private-sector borrowing plays a greater role than fiscal profligacy in generating financial instability. However, when the credit boom collapses, the government’s capacity to alleviate the downturn is limited by the prevailing level of public debt.
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“The economists Òscar Jordà, Moritz Schularick, and Alan Taylor studied the sensitivity of house prices to interest rates across 14 countries and 140 years of history. They found that a 1 per cent rise in interest rates reduces the ratio of house prices to incomes by about 4 per cent. In New Zealand, for example, that ratio has risen by about half in a decade, implying a double-digit rise in interest rates to stabilise it.” — Robin Harding, FT
Schularick, Taylor, & Jorda’s INET funded research is cited in Bloomberg on the most stable investments
“The issue is important because it tends to conflict with a hugely influential study published in 2017, called The Rate of Return on Everything, by Oscar Jorda, Katharina Knoll, Dmitry Kuvshinov, Moritz Schularick, and Alan M. Taylor. This was a mightily ambitious piece of financial archaeology covering 17 countries, and it rendered the startling result that housing performed virtually as well as equities over time, but with much less volatility. The result held true for every country that Jorda and his colleagues examined.” — John Authers, Bloomberg
Two separate INET funded research articles are cited; first from Schularick, Jordà, & Taylor on leveraged bubbles followed by Bao, Hommes, & Makarewicz on bubble formation. “Since their inception, financial markets, and to a lesser extent some real markets, have been subject to bubbles. … More recently, stock prices, but also credit, real estate, commodities, bond markets, and famously, bitcoin, are all assets that have experienced bubble episodes. Regarding cryptocurrencies, many economists also defend a permanent bubble, their fundamental value being theoretically non-existent.” …. In fact, the presence of bubbles in the markets (financial and real) seems to stem from the persistent behavior of economic agents. Experimental studies, controlling exactly the actual value, showed that participants tended to set up a bubble-like operation, with price surges and collapses very similar to real economy situations, and in no way related to a change in the market.
Shaped by the 2008 financial crisis, a new generation of economists is expanding the boundaries of economic thinking on credit cycles, private debt, and financial stability.