The Role of Credit in Post-Stabilization Consumption Booms
This paper presents an empirical investigation of the role of credit in the post-stabilization consumption booms of Mexico, Chile and Israel. Credit from the banking sector to the private sector expanded very rapidly following the stabilizations. I show that this increase in credit reduced the proportion of consumers that were liquidity constrained in the economy. This reduction in liquidity constraints could have helped to fuel the observed consumption booms. In addition, I show that the most important channels for the expansion in credit to consumers in Mexico are the rapid remonetization of the economy, the fall in the ratio of debt held by banks to GDP held by banks, and the increase in the foreign liabilities of banks. For Chile, the most important channel is the remonetization of the economy, whereas in Israel, it is the crowding in effect from the fall in the ratio of public debt held by banks to GDP. The fact that only the crowding in effect was important for Israel is explained by the differences between its banking system and those of the other countries.