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.
Sally Chen, Minsuk Kim, Marijn Otte, Kevin Wiseman, and Aleksandra Zdzienicka
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Balance sheet recessions have been a drag on activity after the Global Financial Crisis, underscoring the important role of balance sheet adjustment for resuming sustained growth. In this paper we examine private sector deleveraging experiences across 36 advanced and emerging economies countries since 1960. We consider the common features and divergent experiences of deleveraging episodes across countries, and analyze empirically the impact of different aspects of deleveraging during the bust phase of leverage cycles on subsequent medium-term growth. The results suggest that larger and quicker unwinding of non-financial sector debt overhangs is associated with sizable medium-term output gains, and that policies should focus on facilitating up-front balance sheet adjustment.