Credit Allocation and Macroeconomic Fluctuations

When: 04 Jul 2022, 14:15-15:30
Where: HoF 1.28 + online
Speaker: Karsten Müller

Hybrid event.

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Meeting ID: 693 0005 5350


We study the relationship between credit expansions, macroeconomic fluctuations, and financial crises using a novel database on the sectoral distribution of private credit for 117 countries starting in 1940. Theory predicts that lending to the non-tradable sector, relative to the tradable sector, reflects relaxations in credit supply and contributes to boom-bust cycles by increasing financial fragility. We show that, during credit booms, credit flows disproportionately to the non-tradable sector, consistent with an important role for easy financing conditions. Credit expansions to the non-tradable sector, in turn, systematically predict subsequent growth slowdowns and financial crises, similar to household credit expansions. In contrast, lending to the tradable sector coincides with strong output and productivity growth without a higher risk of a financial crisis. Our findings illustrate that heterogeneity in firm credit is important for understanding macro-financial linkages and distinguishing between “good” and “bad” credit expansions.