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.
We study the characteristics of credit booms in emerging and industrial economies. Macro data show a systematic relationship between credit booms and economic expansions, rising asset prices, real appreciations and widening external deficits. Micro data show a strong association between credit booms and leverage ratios, firm values, and banking fragility. We also find that credit booms are larger in emerging economies, particularly in the nontradables sector; most emerging markets crises are associated with credit booms; and credit booms in emerging economies are often preceded by large capital inflows but not by financial reforms or productivity gains.