Kiel policy brief / Institut für Weltwirtschaft an der Universität Kiel 22
The recovery of the world economy is evolving with a considerable degree of heterogeneity across countries. While the recovery in emerging countries, in particular in Eastern Asia, was very pronounced, it was disappointingly slow in most advanced economies. For example, the upturn was quite strong only during the winter 2009/2010 in the United States and in Japan, and it has lost momentum since then. In other countries that had been hit by a banking crisis and/or a housing crisis, such as the United Kingdom, Spain, or Ireland, the recovery has been sluggish until recently. In this paper, we analyze whether the developments so far are surprising in the light of experience with previous crises. In other words: Is there any indication that 'this time is different'? In particular, we will argue that it is crucial to distinguish between normal recessions and recessions which are associated with a crisis to classify the current recovery in the historical context appropriately.