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Lending Booms: Latin America and the World

Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas (), Rodrigo Valdés () and Oscar Landerretche ()

Economía Journal, 2001, vol. Volume 1 Number 2, issue Spring 2001, 47-100

Abstract: Recent theories of crisis put lending booms at the root of financial collapses. Yet lending booms may be a natural consequence of economic development and fluctuations. So are lending booms dangerous? In this paper, we investigate empirically this question using a broad sample of lending boom episodes over 40 years, with a special eye for Latin America. Our results indicate that (1) lending booms are often associated with (i) a domestic investment boom; (ii) an increase in domestic interest rates; (iii) a worsening of the current account; (iv) a declines in reserves; (v) a real appreciation; (vi) a decline in output growth, (2) 'typical' lending booms do not increase substantially the vulnerability of the banking sector or the balance of payments. Comparing Latin America and the rest of the world, we find that Latin America lending booms make the economy considerably more volatile and vulnerable to financial and balance of payment crisis.

Keywords: Balance-of-payment crises; banking crisis; credit boom; lending boom; macroeconomic performance; Latin America (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2001
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