Why Don't They Lend? Credit Stagnation in Latin America
IMF Staff Papers, Vol. 49, 2002
29 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2003
This study examines the recent marked slowdown in bank credit to the private sector in Latin America. Based on a study of eight countries - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Venezuela - the magnitude of the slowdown is documented, comparing it to historical behavior and to similar episodes in other regions of the world. Second, changes in bank balance sheets are examined to determine whether the credit slowdown was merely a reflection of a downturn in bank deposits or whether the asset side has changed. Third, following an econometric approach used in recent studies of bank credit in East Asia and Finland, the paper investigates the possible causes in three countries: Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. While both supply and demand factors appear to have played key roles, their relative importance has varied across the three countries.
Keywords: Credit, banking system, Latin America
JEL Classification: G21, E44
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation