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Showing posts from October, 2016

Banking Stability - Causes and Consequences

Along with Christopher Coyle and Gareth Campbell, I've recently had a paper published in the Journal of Financial Stability entitled This Time is Different: Causes and Consequences of British Banking Instability over the Long Run. In this paper, we use bank share prices to measure British banking stability over two centuries. We find that over the long run interest rates, inflation, lending growth and equity prices are leading indicators of instability and that there is a long-run relationship between UK bank instability and the credit-risk premium. This paper is an extension of my Banking in Crisis book, where I look at the institutional and political causes of banking instability rather than their macroeconomic causes and consequences.

The British Bicycle Mania and Short Selling

My former PhD student Will Quinn has a new QUCEH working paper entitled Squeezing the Bears: Cornering Risk and Limits on Arbitrage during the British Bicycle Mania. In this paper, Will argues that the risk of being cornered effectively resulted in constraints on short selling during during the British Bicycle Mania of the mid-1890s. These constraints on short selling made it very difficult for traders to correct overvalued shares in bicycle companies. Will's paper is one of the first to look at constraints on short selling during historical financial bubbles.

Why is Economic History Important?

I'm passionate about economic history. I believe that if we want to understand today's world and economy, we need to know the evolution and trajectory of the economy. In addition, our economic past provides us with useful policy lessons for our economic present and future. Finally, economic history has an intrinsic value in and of itself - I'm constantly fascinated about how our ancestors approached economic issues and solved complex economic contracting issues. My passion for economic history is one of the reasons that I founded the Queen's University Centre for Economic History (QUCEH), which has in turn attracted amazing young academics to Queen's University Belfast. At QUCEH, we are continually thinking of ways of demonstrating the usefulness of economic history to wider society. This week two things demonstrated our commitment to this cause. First, QUCEH entered the Twitterverse - please follow us at @QUCEHBelfast. Second, we discovered that my colleague Grah…