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The credit squeeze during Russia's early transition: A bank-based view

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  • Koen Schoors

Abstract

Russia's early transition is characterised by one of the most dramatic credit expansions and inflation experiences in recent history. As a consequence, Russia has been involved in a protracted inflation stabilisation effort. This paper addresses the question whether the inflation stabilisation might have caused a credit squeeze and hence might have contributed to the output collapse in the first three years of transition. Russian monetary policy was certainly not restrictive as a whole, but still the occurrence of a credit crunch is not excluded. Indeed, the lending channel of monetary policy transmission might have caused a credit crunch in Russia. To analyse Russia's monetary stance from the point of view of the lending channel, we perform an empirical analysis of Russian bank liquidity in 1994 on the basis of bank data. The paper concludes that the huge excess reserves of Russian banks in 1994 were at least partially due to excess liquidity in the banking system. This means that banks preferred to hold liquidity rather than to grant loans. The hypothesis that the credit crunch is due to the lending channel of monetary policy transmission is therefore rejected. The question why banks preferred to hold excess liquidity deserves further attention. This question is still relevant, because Russian commercial banks have again accumulated excess reserves in 1999 and decreased their lending to the economy, in the aftermath of the banking crisis, triggered by the August-1998 crisis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in its journal Economics of Transition.

Volume (Year): 9 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 205-228

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Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:9:y:2001:i:1:p:205-228

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Cited by:
  1. Mario Gara, 2001. "The Emergence of Non-monetary Means of Payment in the Russian Economy," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 5-39.
  2. Alexei Karas & William Pyle & Koen Schoors, 2006. "Sophisticated Discipline in Nascent Deposit Markets: Evidence from Post-Communist Russia," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0607, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  3. A. Karas & W. Pyle & K. Schoors, 2007. "Sophisticated Discipline in a Nascent Deposit Market: Evidence from Post-Communist Russia," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 07/450, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  4. Kim, Byung-Yeon & Pirttilä, Jukka & Rautava, Jouko, 2001. "Money, Barter and Inflation in Russia," BOFIT Discussion Papers 15/2001, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  5. David M. Kemme, 2000. "Russian Financial Transition: The Development of Institutions and Markets for Growth," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 455, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. S. CLAEYS & G. LANINE & K. SCHOORs, 2005. "Bank Supervision Russian Style: Rules vs Enforcement and Tacit Objectives," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/307, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  7. Schoors, Koen, 2003. "The effect of Soviet monetary disintegration on the collapse of trade between members of the Commonwealth of Independent States," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-26, March.
  8. Sophie Claeys, & Gleb Lanine & Koen Schoors, 2005. "Bank Supervision Russian style: Rules versus Enforcement and Tacit Objectives," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp778, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  9. Claeys, Sophie & Schoors, Koen, 2007. "Bank supervision Russian style: Evidence of conflicts between micro- and macroprudential concerns," Working Paper Series 205, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).

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