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Is there an optimal size for the financial sector?

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  • Santomero, Anthony M.
  • Seater, John J.

Abstract

This paper derives the optimal size of the financial sector using a general equilibrium framework that is an extension of Holmstrom and Tirole's 1997 paper. We show that the financial sector has a unique optimal size relative to the size of the economy as a whole. Creating and maintaining this sector requires diversion of some physical capital from production of output to monitoring that production. However, the efficiency gain in output production brought about by monitoring warrants the diversion. It is also found that the optimal size of the financial sector is independent of the state of the economy and does not vary over the business cycle.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 24 (2000)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 945-965

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:24:y:2000:i:6:p:945-965

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  1. Leland, Hayne E & Pyle, David H, 1977. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 371-87, May.
  2. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, . "Optimal Security Design," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 26-87, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds and the Real Sector," Working papers 95-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1990. "Financial Fragility and Economic Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 87-114, February.
  5. Bernanke, Ben S, 1981. "Bankruptcy, Liquidity, and Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 155-59, May.
  6. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  7. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  8. Bhattacharya Sudipto & Thakor Anjan V., 1993. "Contemporary Banking Theory," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 2-50, October.
  9. Fama, Eugene F., 1985. "What's different about banks?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 29-39, January.
  10. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
  11. Franklin Allen & Anthony M. Santomero, 1996. "The Theory of Financial Intermediation," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-32, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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Cited by:
  1. Lin Lin & Hsien-Chang Kuo & I-Liang Lin, 2008. "Merger and optimal number of firms: an integrated simulation approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(18), pages 2413-2421.
  2. Drew Saunders, 2009. "The Elastic Provision of Liquidity by Private Agents," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(7), pages 1423-1451, October.
  3. John J. Seater, 2000. "Optimal Bank Regulation and Monetary Policy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-38, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Miyake, Atsushi & Nakamura, Tamotsu, 2007. "A dynamic analysis of an economy with banking optimization and capital adequacy regulations," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 14-27.
  5. Gianni De Nicoló & Sami Geadah & Dmitriy Rozhkov, 2003. "Financial Development in the CIS-7 Countries," IMF Working Papers 03/205, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Michael Graff, 2005. "Is There an Optimum Level of Financial Activity?," KOF Working papers 05-106, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

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