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This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of financial cycles using a large database covering 21 advanced countries over the period 1960:1-2007:4. Specifically, we analyze cycles in credit, house prices, and equity prices. We report three main results. First, financial cycles tend to be long and severe, especially those in housing and equity markets. Second, they are highly synchronized within countries, particularly credit and house price cycles. The extent of synchronization of financial cycles across countries is high as well, mainly for credit and equity cycles, and has been increasing over time. Third financial cycles accentuate each other and become magnified, especially during coincident downturns in credit and housing markets. Moreover, globally synchronized downturns tend to be associated with more prolonged and costly episodes, especially for credit and equity cycles. We discuss how these findings can guide future research on various aspects of financial market developments.
We provide a comprehensive empirical characterization of the linkages between key macroeconomic and financial variables around business and financial cycles for 21 OECD countries over the period 1960–2007. In particular, we analyze the implications of 122 recessions, 112 (28) credit contraction (crunch) episodes, 114 (28) episodes of house price declines (busts), 234 (58) episodes of equity price declines (busts) and their various overlaps in these countries over the sample period. Our results indicate that interactions between macroeconomic and financial variables can play major roles in determining the severity and duration of recessions. Specifically, we find evidence that recessions associated with credit crunches and house price busts tend to be deeper and longer than other recessions. JEL Classification Numbers: E32; E44; E51; F42