Management Review Quarterly

, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 351–389 | Cite as

Determinants of non-performing loans: What do we know? A systematic review and avenues for future research

  • Florian ManzEmail author


This paper presents a systematic literature review of 44 studies on determinants of non-performing loans (NPL) published for the period 1987 to 2017 in 30 peer-reviewed journals. The motivation for this analysis is twofold. First, the NPL-issue is attributed high relevance by policy makers such as the European Central Bank and is currently addressed with a variety of measures. Any policy response requires deep understanding of the underlying determinants. Second, availability of data in the NPL-sector expanded, allowing scholars for more sophisticated research. Presenting novel interpretation, I synthesize the literature according to three broad, yet overlapping themes: macroeconomic events, bank- and loan-specific factors. Using an open coding process, the literature is diligently analyzed in 13 subcategories. The results reveal that the interaction of loan and asset specific events with macroeconomic and bank-specific factors still lacks a deep understanding and deserves for additional empirical research.


Non-performing loans Bad loans Determinants Literature review Research topics Research history 

JEL Classification

H81 E50 G21 N01 



I am grateful to Professor Dirk Schiereck for helpful comments and discussion at various points in time.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Corporate FinanceDarmstadt University of TechnologyDarmstadtGermany

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