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.
This paper uses a Binary Classification Tree (BCT) model to analyze banking crises in 50 emerging market and developing countries during 1990-2005. The BCT identifies key indicators and their threshold values at which vulnerability to banking crisis increases. The three conditions identified as crisis-prone-(i) very high inflation, (ii) highly dollarized bank deposits combined with nominal depreciation or low liquidity, and (iii) low bank profitability-highlight that foreign currency risk, poor financial soundness, and macroeconomic instability are key vulnerabilities triggering banking crises. The main results survive under alternative robustness checks, confirming the importance of the BCT approach for monitoring banking system vulnerabilities.