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 reviews how recent studies of banking crises differ with regard to the dating, length, and costs of the crises. Significant discrepancies in these features suggest the absence of analytical consensus. The data allow an examination of the relation between perceived crisis length, as an index of delay in taking actions to resolve a crisis, and crisis costs. Cross-sectional evidence does not show that the length of a crisis is a significant contributor to its resolution cost. A measure of economic cost, the growth shortfall in the crisis period, shows more evidence of a link.