The Cost of Banking Crises: Does the Policy Framework Matter?Florian PRADINES, G LEVIEUGE, Y LUCOTTE
This paper empirically investigates how the stringency of macroeconomic policy frameworks impacts the unconditional cost of banking crises. We consider monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies. A restrictive policy framework may promote stronger banking stability, by enhancing discipline and credibility, and by giving financial room to policymakers. At the same time though, tying the hands of policymakers may be counterproductive and procyclical, especially if it prevents them from responding properly to financial imbalances and crises. Our analysis considers a sample of 146 countries over the period 1970-2013, and reveals that extremely restrictive policy frameworks are likely to increase the expected cost of banking crises. By contrast, combining discipline and flexibility means that some policy arrangements such as budget balance rules with an easing clause, intermediate exchange rate regimes or an inflation targeting framework may significantly contain the cost of banking crises. As such, we provide evidence on the benefits of "constrained discretion" for the real impact of banking crises.