The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper presents evidence that spillovers through bank lending, as opposed to trade linkages and country characteristics, can help explain contagion. We construct a measure of competition for bank funds and find evidence in favor of a common lender effect in the Mexican, Thai, and Russian crises, after controlling for macroeconomic fundamentals. The results are quite robust to the definition of the finance indicator. In the case of the Asian crisis, results are not always robust to the inclusion of trade competition, reflecting the high correlation between competition for funds and trade.