The First Great Recession of the 21st Century

The First Great Recession of the 21st Century

Competing Explanations

Edited by Óscar Dejuán, Eladio Febrero and Maria Cristina Marcuzzo

The 2008–10 financial crisis and the global recession it created is a complex phenomenon that warrants detailed examination. The various essays in this book utilise several alternative paradigms to provide a plausible explanation and a credible cure. Great detail is given to this important analysis from different theoretical perspectives, presenting a clearer understanding of what went wrong and expounding misinterpretations of current theories and practices.


Oscar Dejuan, Eladio Febrero and Maria Cristina Marcuzzo

Subjects: economics and finance, financial economics and regulation, history of economic thought


Óscar Dejuán, Eladio Febrero and Maria Cristina Marcuzzo The recession of 2008 (the First Great Recession of the 21st century) puzzled everybody. Economists were aware of the international trade imbalances and of the speculative bubbles in the real estate and stock exchange markets. However, few of them dared think that the recession was so close and that it was going to be so deep. Its severity is only comparable with the Great Depression of 1929. The recession offers an opportunity to revise economic theories in order to identify their flaws. And also to compare different economic paradigms to find the one that provides a more plausible explanation and a more credible cure. With this purpose, the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) and the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET) jointly organized an international symposium in January 2010 in Albacete, Spain, with the title ‘The Recession of 2008. Do Economists Ever Agree on Analysis and Prescriptions?’1 This book gathers together some of the papers presented, to which we have added a couple more in order to give a proper account of the broad array of the streams of thought in modern economics. The book has been organized in three parts, following a train of thought that we hope will be made clear in this Introduction. Part I – Economists on Trial – gathers together five papers that discuss which economists are to be praised and which are to be blamed in connection with the present crisis, and to...