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Credit crunch? An empirical test of cyclical credit policy

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  • Herrala, Risto

    ()
    (Bank of Finland Research)

Abstract

In 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 Info

Paper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 10/2009.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 24 Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofrdp:2009_010

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Postal: Bank of Finland, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/
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Related research

Keywords: credit policy; credit constraints; household borrowing; frontier analysis;

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References

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  1. Martin Ruckes, 2004. "Bank Competition and Credit Standards," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(4), pages 1073-1102.
  2. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 2003. "The institutional memory hypothesis and the procyclicality of bank lending behavior," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-02, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Marvin Goodfriend & Bennett T. McCallum, 2007. "Banking and interest rates in monetary policy analysis: a quantitative exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Dell''Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2005. "Lending Booms and Lending Standards," CEPR Discussion Papers 5095, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and the Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-91, August.
  6. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2007. "Credit Traps and Credit Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 503-516, March.
  7. Herrala, Risto & Kauko, Karlo, 2007. "Household loan loss risk in Finland – estimations and simulations with micro data," Research Discussion Papers 5/2007, Bank of Finland.
  8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(3), pages 291-299, September.
  9. Stefano NERI & Luca SESSA & Federico SIGNORETTI & Andrea GERALI, 2009. "Credit and Banking in a DSGE model," 2009 Meeting Papers 586, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. "Why Bank Credit Policies Fluctuate: A Theory and Some Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 399-441, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Risto Herrala & Rima Turk Ariss, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Political Instability, and Capital Accumulation," IMF Working Papers 13/246, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Fungáčová, Zuzana & Herrala, Risto & Weill, Laurent, 2013. "The influence of bank ownership on credit supply: Evidence from the recent financial crisis," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 136-147.
  3. Herrala, Risto & Jia, Yandong, 2012. "Has the Chinese growth model changed? A view from the credit market," BOFIT Discussion Papers 5/2012, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

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