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A New Look into Credit Procyclicality: International Panel Evidence


  • Ricardo Bebczuk

    (Central Bank of Argentina)

  • Tamara Burdisso

    () (Central Bank of Argentina)

  • Jorge Carrera

    () (Central Bank of Argentina)

  • Máximo Sangiácomo

    () (Central Bank of Argentina)


The goal of this paper is to provide up-to-date worldwide evidence on the short-term relationship between credit changes and output changes. Standard correlation methods, state of-the-art panel Granger causality tests, and panel regressions were applied on a maximum sample of 144 countries over the period 1990-2007. Our results openly clash with two popular economic statements, namely, that credit is procyclical and that changes in credit have strong effects on private expenditure. According to the evidence produced, credit procyclicality -in the sense that the simple correlation coefficient is positive and significant at 10% or less- prevails in just 45% of the countries when annual data are used (23% with quarterly data). As for time precedence, our work suggests that, for the full sample, Granger causality runs from GDP to credit, while the often claimed causality from credit to GDP is a feature observable much less frequently –this behavior is observed only in financially developed countries. Results are robust to random resampling. Furthermore, after considering the potential presence of endogeneity, we contend that our results uncover not just mere Granger causality but economic causality. All in all, these findings have vast academic and policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Bebczuk & Tamara Burdisso & Jorge Carrera & Máximo Sangiácomo, 2011. "A New Look into Credit Procyclicality: International Panel Evidence," BCRA Working Paper Series 201155, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:bcr:wpaper:201155

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carlo Brambilla & Giandomenico Piluso, 2007. "Are Banks Procyclical? Evidence from the Italian Case (1890-1973)," Department of Economics University of Siena 523, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
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    3. Driscoll, John C., 2004. "Does bank lending affect output? Evidence from the U.S. states," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 451-471, April.
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    5. Sandra Eickmeier & Boris Hofmann & Andreas Worms, 2009. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Bank Lending: Evidence for Germany and the Euro Area," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 193-223, May.
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    7. Dumitrescu, Elena-Ivona & Hurlin, Christophe, 2012. "Testing for Granger non-causality in heterogeneous panels," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1450-1460.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tomás Castagnino & Laura D´Amato & Máximo Sangiácomo, 2012. "How do Firms in Argentina get Financing to Export?," BCRA Working Paper Series 201258, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
    2. Horacio A. Aguirre & Emilio F. Blanco, 2015. "Credit and Macroprudential Policy in an Emerging Economy: a Structural Model Assessment," BIS Working Papers 504, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Arturo Galindo & Marcela Melendez, 2013. "Small Is Not Beautiful: Firm-Level Evidence of the Link between Credit, Firm Size and Competitiveness in Colombia," Research Department Publications IDB-WP-395, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Horacio Aguirre & Emilio Blanco, 2016. "Financial Stability and Macroprudential Policy: A Structural Model Evaluation of an Emerging Economy," BCRA Working Paper Series 201671, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
    5. Espino, Freddy, 2013. "Hechos Estilizados del Sistema Bancario Peruano," Working Papers 2013-005, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.

    More about this item


    credit procyclicality; financial system; Granger causality; panel regressions;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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