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 investigates the effects of macroeconomic and structural variables on financial intermediation. To this end, it presents a theoretical foundation for two new measures of intermediation, the money multiplier and the ratio of private sector credit to monetary base. Results from panel estimations covering 19 transition economies indicate that policy makers need to address in particular the problems of bad loans on bank balance sheets and high market concentration while maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment. Further variables, such as minimum reserve requirements and the capital adequacy ratio, are found to possess less explanatory power.