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Switching costs in local credit markets

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  • Guglielmo Barone

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Roberto Felici

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Marcello Pagnini

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

Switching costs are a key determinant of market performance. This paper tests their existence in the corporate loan market in which they are likely to play a central role because of the complexity of contracts and informational problems. Using very detailed data at bank-firm level on four Italian local credit markets we empirically show that firms tend to iterate their choice of the main bank over time. This inertia is not related to unobserved and time invariant preferences of firms across banks and can be attributed to the existence of switching costs. We also offer evidence that banks price discriminate between new and old borrowers by charging lower interest rates to the former in order to cover part of the switching costs. The discount is about 44 basis points, equal to 7 per cent of the average interest rate. These results prove robust to a number of other potential identification drawbacks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 760.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_760_10

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Keywords: switching costs; local credit markets; price discrimination; lending relationships;

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  1. Boot, Arnoud W. A., 2000. "Relationship Banking: What Do We Know?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 7-25, January.
  2. Hans Degryse & Steven Ongena, 2002. "Distance, Lending Relationships, and Competition," CSEF Working Papers 80, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  3. Brownstone, David & Bunch, David S & Train, Kenneth, 1999. "Joint mixed logit models of stated and revealed preferences for alternative-fuel vehicles," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt45f996hh, University of California Transportation Center.
  4. Elsas, Ralf, 2005. "Empirical determinants of relationship lending," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 32-57, January.
  5. Ralf Elsas & Frank Heinemann & Marcel Tyrell, 2004. "Multiple but Asymmetric Bank Financing: The Case of Relationship Lending," Working Paper Series: Finance and Accounting 141, Department of Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.
  6. Enrica Detragiache & Paolo Garella & Luigi Guiso, 2000. "Multiple versus Single Banking Relationships: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1133-1161, 06.
  7. Yongmin Chen, 1997. "Paying Customers to Switch," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 877-897, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Claudio Ribeiro De Lucinda & Mariana Oliveira E Silv, 2014. "Switching Costs And The Extent Of Potential Competition In Brazilian Banking," Anais do XLI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 41th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 139, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  2. Alessandro Gambini & Alberto Zazzaro, 2013. "Long-lasting bank relationships and growth of firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 977-1007, May.
  3. Bellucci, Andrea & Borisov, Alexander & Zazzaro, Alberto, 2013. "Do banks price discriminate spatially? Evidence from small business lending in local credit markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4183-4197.
  4. Ahn, Jung-Hyun & Breton, Régis, 2014. "Securitization, competition and monitoring," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 195-210.
  5. Alessio D'Ignazio & Carlo Menon, 2012. "The Causal Effect of Credit Guarantees for SMEs: Evidence from Italy," SERC Discussion Papers 0123, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  6. Diana Bonfim & Qinglei Dai, 2012. "Bank size and lending specialization," Working Papers w201219, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  7. Zhao, Tianshu & Matthews, Kent & Murinde, Victor, 2013. "Cross-selling, switching costs and imperfect competition in British banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5452-5462.
  8. Anderson, Robert D.J. & Ashton, John K. & Hudson, Robert S., 2014. "The influence of product age on pricing decisions: An examination of bank deposit interest rate setting," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 216-230.
  9. K. Sudhir & Nathan Yang, 2014. "Exploiting the Choice-Consumption Mismatch: A New Approach to Disentangle State Dependence and Heterogeneity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1941, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

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