The Real Impact of Financial Shocks: Evidence from the Republic of Korea
32 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: October 1998
To what extent did tightening monetary policy magnify the East Asian crisis through its adverse effects on credit supply? In the Republic of Korea, interest rate spreads, which capture credit channel effects, influence economic activity, and these effects are disproportionately larger for small and medium-size enterprises. So policymakers who neglect credit channel effects might be overkilling the economy and altogether overlooking the disproportionate effects of monetary and financial shocks on some sectors.
The debates surrounding the recent East Asian crisis have focused not only on causes but also on policy actions in the wake of the initial shock. This has raised questions about the relationship between monetary policy and market confidence. Specifically, would rising interest rates bolster or depress market confidence? To answer this question requires assessing whether, and to what extent, monetary and financial shocks are magnified through the economy via the credit channel.
Domac and Ferri focus on the Republic of Korea - a particularly good case for testing credit channel effects - with two objectives: - To ascertain whether and to what extent interest rate spreads could help predict subsequent fluctuations in real economic activity. - To test whether small and medium-size enterprises suffer more than other businesses do from the adverse effects of the credit channel.
The authors' empirical findings support the hypothesis that spreads that capture credit channel effects do indeed influence economic activity. Specifically, spreads contain significant information for predicting the future course of industrial production. The effect is, as one might have assumed, disproportionately larger for small and medium-size enterprises. Thus policymakers, in Korea and elsewhere, who neglect credit channel effects might be overkilling the economy and altogether overlooking the disproportionate effects of monetary and financial shocks on various segments of the economy.
This paper - a product of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Sector Unit and the Financial Sector Development Sector Unit, East Asia and Pacific Region - is part of a larger effort in the region to analyze the patterns and consequences of the East Asian crisis, with particular reference to the link between the real and financial sectors. The authors may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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