We examine structural differences in growth vulnerabilities across countries resulting from time-varying financial risk. Considering differences in trade openness, financial sector size, the public spending ratio and government effectiveness, our findings suggest the existence of both a structural gap as well as a risk sensitivity gap when estimating growth-at-risk (GaR) across countries. Hence, structural factors do not only drive level-differences in GaR, but also give rise to differences in the responsiveness of GaR to varying levels of risk. Furthermore, we show that structural factors affect the term structure of GaR, with the impact of structural characteristics varying over the forecasting horizon. A proper understanding of structural factors in the context of the GaR framework is particularly important to facilitate the use of the concept in macroprudential policy.
Keywords: Growth-at-risk; vulnerable growth; structural factors; macroprudential policy