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.
After years of strong performance, Korea’s economy entered a crisis in 1997, owing largely to structural problems in its financial and corporate sectors. These problems emerged in the second half of that year, when the capital inflows that had helped finance Korea’s growth were reversed, as foreign investors—reeling from losses in other Southeast Asian economies—decided to reduce their exposure to Korea. This paper focuses on the sources of the crisis that originated in the financial sector, the measures taken to deal with it, and the evolution of key banking and financial variables in its aftermath.