The Riskiness of Credit Allocation and Financial Stability


Luis Brandão-Marques ; Qianying Chen ; Claudio Raddatz ; Jerome Vandenbussche ; Peichu Xie

Publication Date:

September 27, 2019

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


We explore empirically how the time-varying allocation of credit across firms with heterogeneous credit quality matters for financial stability outcomes. Using firm-level data for 55 countries over 1991-2016, we show that the riskiness of credit allocation, captured by Greenwood and Hanson (2013)’s ISS indicator, helps predict downside risks to GDP growth and systemic banking crises, two to three years ahead. Our analysis indicates that the riskiness of credit allocation is both a measure of corporate vulnerability and of investor sentiment. Economic forecasters wrongly predict a positive association between the riskiness of credit allocation and future growth, suggesting a flawed expectations process.


Working Paper No. 2019/207



Publication Date:

September 27, 2019



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