Working Paper

Historical Patterns of Inequality and Productivity around Financial Crises

Abstract: To understand the determinants of financial crises, previous research focused on developments closely related to financial markets. In contrast, this paper considers changes originating in the real economy as drivers of financial instability. To this end, I assemble a novel data set of long-run measures of income inequality, productivity, and other macrofinancial indicators for advanced economies. I find that rising top income inequality and low productivity growth are robust predictors of crises, and their slowmoving trend components largely explain these relations. Moreover, recessions that are preceded by such developments are deeper than recessions without such ex-ante trends.

JEL Classification: E24; E44; E51; G01; G20; H12; N10; N20;

Access Documents

File(s): File format is application/pdf
Description: Full text - article PDF


Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Part of Series: Working Paper Series

Publication Date: 2020-03-25

Number: 2017-23

Note: The first version of this paper was published September 25, 2017.

Related Works