Banking Research in the Time of COVID-19

82 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2021

See all articles by Allen N. Berger

Allen N. Berger

University of South Carolina - Darla Moore School of Business; Wharton Financial Institutions Center; European Banking Center

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

World Bank

Date Written: September 9, 2021


Despite the devastating worldwide human and economic tolls of the COVID-19 crisis, it has created some positive economic and financial surprises and opportunities for research. We highlight two such favorable surprises – the shortest U.S. recession on record and the avoidance of any banking crisis – and a number of research opportunities. We tie the “economic surprise” of the short recession to the speed and size of U.S. stimulus programs during COVID-19 – faster and larger than for the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). We connect the “financial surprise” of the resilient banking sector to prudential policies put in place during and after the GFC that fortified U.S. banks prior to COVID-19. These twin “surprises” are also mutually reinforcing – if either the economy or banking system had failed, so would the other. We also review extant COVID-19 banking research and suggest paths for future research. We recommend particular attention be paid to research outside of the U.S. – where fewer favorable “surprises” may be present – to best advance the knowledge.

Suggested Citation

Berger, Allen N. and Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli, Banking Research in the Time of COVID-19 (September 9, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Allen N. Berger (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina - Darla Moore School of Business ( email )

1705 College St
Francis M. Hipp Building
Columbia, SC 29208
United States
803-576-8440 (Phone)
803-777-6876 (Fax)

Wharton Financial Institutions Center

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6367
United States

European Banking Center

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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