Financial Crises and Economic Activity
NBER Working Paper No. 15379
We study the output costs of 40 systemic banking crises since 1980. Most, but not all, crises in our sample coincide with a sharp contraction in output from which it took several years to recover. Our main findings are as follows. First, the current financial crisis is unlike any others in terms of a wide range of economic factors. Second, the output losses of past banking crises were higher when they were accompanied by a currency crisis or when growth was low at the onset of the crisis. When accompanied by a sovereign debt default, a systemic banking crisis was less costly. And, third, there is a tendency for systemic banking crises to have lasting negative output effects.