32 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2021
Date Written: December 22, 2020
This paper studies episodes in which aggregate bank credit contracts alongside expanding economic activity—credit reversals. Using data for 179 countries during 1960‒2017, the paper finds that reversals are a relatively common phenomenon--on average, they occur every five years. By comparison, banking crises take place every eight years on average. Credit reversals and banking crises also appear related to each other: reversals become more likely in the aftermath of banking crises, while the likelihood of crises drops following reversals. Reversals are shown to be very costly in terms of foregone economic activity—about two-thirds of the costs of banking crises, after taking into account their relative frequencies.
Keywords: Credit reversals, credit booms, credit crunches, credit cycles, banking crises, financial stability
JEL Classification: E32, E44, E51, G01, G21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation