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.
The paper studies the factors associated with the emergence of systemic banking crises in a large sample of developed and developing countries in 1980-94, using a multivariate logit econometric model. The results suggest that crises tend to erupt when the macroeconomic environment is weak, particularly when growth is low and inflation is high. Also, high real interest rates are clearly associated with systemic banking sector problems, and there is some evidence that vulnerability to balance of payments crises has played a role. Countries with an explicit deposit insurance scheme were particularly at risk, as were countries with weak law enforcement.