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Banks as Social Accountants and Screening Devices for the Allocation of Credit

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  • Joseph E. Stiglitz
  • Andrew Weiss

Abstract

This paper presents and alternative perspective on the role of banks. We emphasize the ways in which banks act as social accountants and screening devices. In this view monetary disturbances have their effects through the disturbances which they induce in society's accounting system and in the mechanisms by which it is ascertained who is credit worthy. Because of asymmetric information, giving rise to credit rationing, interest rates do not play the simple allocative role ascribed by the conventional paradigm, and as a result the equilibrating forces provided by market mechanisms may be weak or virtually absent. The paper provides a critique of the transactions based approach to monetary theory, and sketches a general equilibrium formulation of the theory. The paper traces out some of the policy implications of the theory. We show that certain financial innovations, such as allowing for the more rapid recording of transactions, may actually be welfare reducing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2710.

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Date of creation: Sep 1988
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Publication status: published as Essays in Monetary Econmics in Honor of Sir John Hicks, 1989 ed. A. Couralies and C. Goodhart, MacMillan Publishers
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2710

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  1. Blinder, Alan S & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1983. "Money, Credit Constraints, and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 297-302, May.
  2. Hayne E. Leland and David H. Pyle., 1976. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 41, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1973. "Incentives and Risk-Sharing in Sharecropping," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 353, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 391-435 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fama, Eugene F., 1980. "Banking in the theory of finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 39-57, January.
  6. Ordover, Janusz & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Information and the Law: Evaluating Legal Restrictions on Competitive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 399-404, May.
  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
  8. Kletzer, Kenneth M, 1984. "Asymmetries of Information and LDC Borrowing with Sovereign Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 287-307, June.
  9. Friedman, Milton, 1971. "A Monetary Theory of Nominal Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(2), pages 323-37, March-Apr.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lino Sau, 2012. "Evolution of China's financial system and its impact on economic development," International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(1), pages 1-15.
  2. Sau Lino, 2010. "Instability and crisis in financial complex systems," CESMEP Working Papers 201001, University of Turin.
  3. Hyytinen, Ari, 2003. "Information production and lending market competition," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 233-253.
  4. Messori, Marcello, 2014. "A Schumpeterian analysis of the credit market," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 43-59.
  5. Mornati, Fiorenzo & Becchio, Giandomenica & Marchionatti, Roberto & Cassata, Francesco, 2009. ""Quando l'economica italiana non era seconda a nessuno" Luigi Einaudi e la Scuola di Economia a Torino," CESMEP Working Papers 200910, University of Turin.
  6. Steven Ongena, 1999. "Lending Relationships, Bank Default and Economic Activity," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 257-280.
  7. Sau Lino, 2007. "New Pecking Order Financing for Innovative Firms: an Overview," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200702, University of Turin.
  8. Hyytinen, Ari, 2001. "Information Production, Banking Competition and the Market Structure of the Banking Industry," Discussion Papers 749, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  9. Bertocco Giancarlo, 2003. "The characteristics of a monetary economy: a Keynes-Schumpeter approach," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf0311, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
  10. Riccardo Lucchetti & Luca Papi & Alberto Zazzaro, 2000. "Banks' inefficiency and economic growth: a micro-macro approach," Heterogeneity and monetary policy 0004, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia Politica.
  11. Gerhard Clemenz & Mona Ritthaler, 1992. "Credit markets with asymmetric information : a survey," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 12-26, Spring.
  12. Hasan, Iftekhar & Wang, Haizhi & Zhou, Mingming, 2008. "Do better institutions improve bank efficiency? Evidence from a transitional economy," BOFIT Discussion Papers 28/2008, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  13. Federico Ferretti, 2007. "Consumer credit information systems: a critical review of the literature. Too little attention paid by Lawyers?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 71-88, February.
  14. Sau Lino, 2009. "Gradualism and the Evolution of the Financial Structure in China," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200903, University of Turin.
  15. Lee, Jaewoo, 1996. "Financial development by learning," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 147-164, June.
  16. Pietro Alessandrini & Alberto Zazzaro, 1998. "A 'possibilist' approach to regional banking systems and financial integration: The Italian experience," ERSA conference papers ersa98p132, European Regional Science Association.
  17. Bertocco Giancarlo, 2003. "The economics of financing firms: the role of banks," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf0312, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
  18. Bertocco Giancarlo, 2004. "Are banks really special? A note on the theory of financial intermediaries," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf04021, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.

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