Financial Policies and the Prevention of Financial Crises in Emerging Market Economies

52 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Frederic S. Mishkin

Frederic S. Mishkin

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 2000


In recent years we have seen a growing number of banking and financial crises in emerging market countries, with great costs to their economies. But we now have a much better understanding of why these crises occur and a better idea how they can be prevented.

Mishkin defines a financial crisis as a disruption in financial markets in which adverse selection and moral hazard problems become much worse, so that financial markets are unable to efficiently channel funds to those who have the most productive investment opportunities. As financial markets become unable to function efficiently, economic activity sharply contracts. Factors that promote financial crises include, mainly, a deterioration in financial sector balance sheets, increases in interest rates and in uncertainty, and deterioration in nonfinancial balance sheets because of changes in asset prices.

Financial policies in 12 areas could help make financial crises less likely in emerging market economies, says Mishkin. He discusses:

- Prudential supervision.

- Accounting and disclosure requirements.

- Legal and judicial systems.

- Market-based discipline.

- Entry of foreign banks.

- Capital controls.

- Reduction of the role of state-owned financial institutions.

- Restrictions on foreign-denominated debt.

- The elimination of too-big-to-fail practices in the corporate sector.

- The proper sequencing of financial liberalization.

- Monetary policy and price stability.

- Exchange rate regimes and foreign exchange reserves.

If the political will to adopt sound policies in these areas grows in emerging market economies, their financial systems should become healthier, with substantial gains both from greater economic growth and smaller economic fluctuations.

This paper - a product of the Financial Sector Strategy and Policy Department - was prepared for the NBER conference, "Economic and Financial Crises in Emerging Market Economies," Woodstock, Vermont, October 19-21, 2001. The author may be contacted at

Suggested Citation

Mishkin, Frederic S., Financial Policies and the Prevention of Financial Crises in Emerging Market Economies (December 2000). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2683, Available at SSRN:

Frederic S. Mishkin (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

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