The risk of financial crises

Working Paper 2014-336


Are macroeconomic factors such as income inequality the real root causes of financial crises? We explore a variety of financial and macroeconomic variables to find the most reliable predictors for financial crises in 14 developed countries over a period of more than 100 years. Our results, based on a general-to-specific model selection process, indicate that the power to predict financial crises is distributed among several predictors, including income inequality and growth of bank credit. This is in line with the argument that the best predictive factors tend to vary in time.

Authors: Karolin Kirschenmann, Tuomas Malinen, Henri Nyberg.

Keywords: bank loans, income inequality, fixed effects logit.
JEL: C33, C53, E44, G01.