housing development Mint Images/ZumaPress

为何小泡沫会造成大萧条

发自伯克利——当泡沫膨胀时,其规模还不算太大。在随美国遭遇近一个世纪以来最严重经济危机而暴跌之前的2002~2006年间,经济中住宅建筑占GDP的份额仅比先前的趋势值高出了1.2%。据笔者的粗略计算,这一时期住房领域的过度投资总额约为5000亿美元——无论怎样计算,都不过崩溃时世界经济总规模的一小部分而已。

然而因此造成的损失却是巨大的。欧洲及北美各经济体比预期无危机的情况萎缩了6%。换句话说,相对少量的过度投资竟然导致了每年约1.8万亿美元的GDP损失。鉴于跌幅尚未出现收窄的迹象,我估计包括预期增长率和股本回报率在内,GDP总损失最终将达到近3000万亿美元。意味着每1美元的房地产市场过度投资会令世界经济遭受6000美元的损失。这是怎么回事?

需要特别注意的是,并非所有的经济衰退都会造成如此严重的痛苦。比如1987,1991,1997,1998和2001年(当时网络泡沫破灭,4万亿美元的过度投资也打了水漂)的金融冲击就对更广泛的实体经济影响不大。而为什么这次情况会不同则可在奥斯卡·乔达(Òscar Jordà)、莫利兹<>·舒拉里克(Moritz Schularick)、艾伦M·泰勒(Alan M. Taylor)最近发表的论文里找到答案。在这篇论文中作者指出,大规模的信贷繁荣会大大加重资产泡沫崩溃造成的破坏。

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