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The Political Regime Factor in Austrian Business Cycle Theory: Historically Accounting for the US and Canadian Experiences of the 2007–2009 Financial Crisis

George Bragues

A chapter in Studies in Austrian Macroeconomics, 2016, vol. 20, pp 137-161 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract Austrian Business Cycle theory (ABCT) has lately drawn increased attention as a result of its ability to explain the US financial crisis of 2007–2009. However, its explanatory power is questioned by the Canadian experience of the crisis, where a similarly loose monetary policy to the United States did not give rise to a similarly calamitous outcome. Accounting for this difference points to the necessity of elaborating the political element already contained in ABCT. This task of political science is most fruitfully done by focusing on the regime, that is, the distribution of the state’s offices and powers. These shape the incentives and ideals that move political action toward the financial sector. Though both Canada and the United States have democratic regimes, their origins and historical development have caused these to vary in significant ways. These variances largely clarify why the negative consequences of easy money predicted by ABCT were less pronounced in Canada than the United States.

Keywords: Politics of banking; business cycles; financial crises; financial regulation; E42; G01; G28; N21; N22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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