Growing Up to Stability? Financial Globalization, Financial Development and Financial Crises

Michael D. Bordo, Christopher M. Meissner

NBER Working Paper No. 21287
Issued in June 2015
NBER Program(s):Development of the American Economy

Why did some countries learn to grow up to financial stability and others not? We explore this question by surveying the key determinants and major policy responses to banking, currency, and debt crises between 1880 and present. We divide countries into three groups: leaders, learners, and non-learners. Each of these groups had very different experiences in terms of long-run economic outcomes, financial development, financial stability, crisis frequency, and their policy responses to crises. The countries that grew up to financial stability had rule of law, democracy, political stability and other institutional features highlighted in the literature on comparative development. We illustrate this by way of case studies for three kinds of financial crises for four countries (Argentina, Australia, Canada, and the United States) over the long-run.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21287

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