The “Financialization” of Business Cycles and its Consequences for Stabilization Policy
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Publish date: 2016-08-31
Gospodarka Narodowa 2016;284(4):47–68
The purpose of this paper is to interpret the phenomenon of "financialization" of business cycles and identify its consequences, which take the form of indispensable, substantial changes in the way stabilization policy is applied. The paper also aims to present further desirable research directions concerned with both the theory of business cycles and the Polish economy. To this end, the term, origin, and manifestations of financialization of business cycles is illustrated. Next an attempt is made to propose a "new" stabilization policy taking into account the full complexity of the process of financialization of business cycles based on a critical analysis of both the existing stabilization policy and proposals for changes to this policy that have been put forward in the literature in recent years. The financialization of business cycles means a radical increase in the importance of financial factors in the generation and course of business cycles. Three of the many conclusions regarding stabilization policy seem to be the most significant. First, the most important role of stabilization policy is prevention in the growth phase of the business cycle - based on preventing credit booms that lead to the emergence of speculative bubbles on the real property and/or asset markets. Second, in the recession phase, it is critical to correctly recognize the nature of this recession as this determines the way stabilization policy should be pursued. In particular, balance sheet recessions require specific stabilization-oriented actions to be taken. Third, stabilization policy should be understood in broader terms than it traditionally is; it should rather be seen in terms of economic policy.