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Moritz Schularick
Financialization: Questions for Economic History


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The past decades have seen an unprecedented surge in the scale and scope of financial activities within Western economies. This process of increasing financialization appears in the rising income share of finance, the growth of financial claims on the balance sheets of financial intermediaries, and the substantial increase of household debt. The increasing size of the financial sector has been linked to the increase in income inequality in advanced economies and to the growing political influence of the financial industry. Understanding the causes and consequences of the growth of finance has become a first order concern for social scientists. In the lecture he will consider this process from the perspective of economic history. He will review the most common explanations and check them against historical facts. He will also discuss how the growth of finance has become a central problem for economic history and why it constitutes an important field for cross-disciplinary research.
Moritz Schularick is professor of economic history at the University of Bonn. Located at the intersection of history and macroeconomics, his work focuses on credit cycles and capital flows in the twentieth century, the causes and effects of financial instability, as well as the evolution of housing markets and housing finance. His articles have been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, the European Review of History, and the Journal of Economic History.
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  • Public and Private Debt: The Historical Record (1870-2010). In: German Economic Review 15, 1, 191-207 (2013).

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