# 18-008/III (2018-01-26)

Eva (E.F.) Janssens, Tinbergen Institute; Erasmus University of Rotterdam; Robin (R.) Lumsdaine, American University, Erasmus University of Rotterdam; Sebastiaan (S.H.L.C.G.) Vermeulen, Tinbergen Institute; Erasmus University of Rotterdam
Flow of Funds, economic downturns, Susceptible-Infected-Removed(SIR), contagion, epidemiology
JEL codes:
E37, E32, E01, G01

This paper develops a discrete-time epidemiological model for the spread of crises across sectors in the United States for the period 1952-2015. It is the first to use an epidemiological approach with macroeconomic (Flow of Funds) data. An extension of the usual one-period Markov model to a two-period setting incorporates the concept of downturns that may either precede a crisis or from which the sector may recover and avert a crisis. The results indicate that the nonfinancial business and private depository institutions & money market mutual funds sectors are highly contagious while the monetary authority is the least contagious.