Credit Booms and Macroeconomic Dynamics: Stylized Facts and Lessons for Low-Income Countries


Marco Arena ; Serpil Bouza ; Era Dabla-Norris ; . Kerstin Gerling ; Lamin Njie

Publication Date:

January 22, 2015

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


Using a comprehensive database on bank credit, covering 135 developing countries over the period 1960–2011, we identify, document, and compare the macro-economic dynamics of credit booms across low- and middle-income countries. The results suggest that while the duration and magnitude of credit booms is similar across country groups, macro-economic dynamics differ somewhat in low-income countries. We further find that surges in capital inflows are associated with credit booms. Moreover, credit booms associated with banking crises exhibit distinct macroeconomic dynamics, while also reflecting a potentially large deviation of credit from country fundamentals. These results suggest that low-income countries should remain mindful of the inter-linkages between financial liberalization, increased cross-border banking activities, and rapid credit growth.


Working Paper No. 2015/011



Publication Date:

January 22, 2015



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