The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper explores insolvency and debt recovery procedures, and political, legal, and institutional factors influencing financial decisions of corporations and banks during pre-crisis years in six Asian economies. It also examines whether these factors may have contributed to the depth and duration of the 1997 crisis. There are two key findings: First, bank behavior and other institutional factors, and not the nature of stakeholder orientation, seem to explain variations in capital structures and the depth of recessions across economies. Second, aspects of insolvency procedures favoring rehabilitation of “financially distressed” firms seem to explain well the expected duration of the crisis.