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 examine whether the cross-country incidence and severity of the 2008-2009 global recession is systematically related to pre-crisis macroeconomic and financial factors. We find that the pre-crisis level of development, increases in the ratio of private credit to GDP, current account deficits, and openness to trade are helpful in understanding the intensity of the crisis. International risk sharing did little to shield domestic demand from the country-specific component of output declines, while those countries with large pre-crisis current account deficits saw domestic demand fall by much more than domestic output during the crisis.