Marco Arena, Serpil Bouza, Era Dabla-Norris, Kerstin Gerling, and Lamin Njie
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Using a comprehensive database on bank credit, covering 135 developing countries over the period 1960-2011, we identify, document, and compare the macro-economic dynamics of credit booms across low- and middle-income countries. The results suggest that while the duration and magnitude of credit booms is similar across country groups, macro-economic dynamics differ somewhat in low-income countries. We further find that surges in capital inflows are associated with credit booms. Moreover, credit booms associated with banking crises exhibit distinct macroeconomic dynamics, while also reflecting a potentially large deviation of credit from country fundamentals. These results suggest that low-income countries should remain mindful of the inter-linkages between financial liberalization, increased cross-border banking activities, and rapid credit growth.