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Debt reduction after crises

  • Garry Tang
  • Christian Upper

Financial crises tend to be followed by a protracted period of debt reduction in the nonfinancial private sector. We find that a period of debt reduction followed 17 out of 20 systemic banking crises that were preceded by surges in credit. Debt/GDP ratios fell by an average of 38 percentage points, returning to approximately the levels seen before the increase. If history is any guide, we should expect to see a much more significant reduction in private sector debt, particularly of households, than has so far taken place after the recent crisis. The costs of this process in forgone output are difficult to pin down, but there are reasons to believe that they need not be high provided that the banking sector problems that led to the crisis are fixed.

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Article provided by Bank for International Settlements in its journal BIS Quarterly Review.

Volume (Year): (2010)
Issue (Month): (September)

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Handle: RePEc:bis:bisqtr:1009e
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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates
    [This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2006. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," NBER Working Papers 12129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marco Terrones & M. Ayhan Kose & Stijn Claessens, 2008. "What Happens During Recessions, Crunches and Busts?," IMF Working Papers 08/274, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Claudio Borio & Bent Vale & Goetz von Peter, 2010. "Resolving the financial crisis: are we heeding the lessons from the Nordics?," Working Paper 2010/17, Norges Bank.
  5. Wako Watanabe, 2007. "Prudential Regulation and the "Credit Crunch": Evidence from Japan," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 639-665, 03.
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