The global financial crisis: Explaining cross-country differences in the output impact
What explains differences in the crisis impact across developing countries and emerging markets? Using cross-country regressions to assess the factors driving the growth performance in 2009 (compared to pre-crisis forecasts for that year), we find that a small set of variables explain a large share of the variation in the growth impact. Countries with more leveraged domestic financial systems, stronger credit growth, and more short-term debt tended to suffer a larger effect on economic activity, although the relative importance of these factors differs across country groups. For emerging markets, this financial channel trumps the trade channel. For a broader set of developing countries, however, the trade channel seems to have mattered, with more open countries affected more strongly and those exporting food commodities being less hard hit. Exchange-rate flexibility helped in buffering the impact of the shock, particularly for emerging markets. There is also some evidence that countries with a stronger fiscal position prior to the crisis were impacted less severely. We find little evidence for the importance of other policy variables.
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