Credit crunch? An empirical test of cyclical credit policy
AbstractIn this paper we test the hypothesis that credit policies are pro-cyclical. Our approach is based on a stochastic frontier analysis of borrower data, as in Chen and Wang (2008). We extend the applicability of the approach, and propose a novel test specification which is informative of many types of pro-cyclicality. The analysis of representative samples of household borrowers during a huge cycle and its aftermath yields evidence of time-varying credit policy. We find that the focus of credit policy changed from collateral to current income during the cycle. Instead of a credit crunch, ie, an overall tightening of credit during the economic and financial contraction, we find a tightening of credit limits with respect to a minority of borrowers and an easing for the majority. In the course of the post-crisis period, credit policy became more lenient. Both the level of credit limits and the ‘tailoring’ of limits to group-specific characteristics of households increased. A reduction in the idiosyncratic variance of limits suggest that banks have become more consistent in their credit policies.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 10/2009.
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 24 Mar 2009
Date of revision:
credit policy; credit constraints; household borrowing; frontier analysis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
- E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
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