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Unnatural Selection: Perverse Incentives and the Misallocation of Credit in Japan

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  • Joe Peek
  • Eric S. Rosengren

Abstract

We examine the misallocation of credit in Japan associated with the perverse incentives faced by banks to provide additional credit to the weakest firms. Firms are more likely to receive additional bank credit if they are in poor financial condition, because troubled Japanese banks have an incentive to allocate credit to severely impaired borrowers in order to avoid the realization of losses on their own balance sheets. This "evergreening" behavior is more prevalent among banks that have reported capital ratios close to the required minimum, and is compounded by the incentives arising from extensive corporate affiliations.

Suggested Citation

  • Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 2005. "Unnatural Selection: Perverse Incentives and the Misallocation of Credit in Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1144-1166, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:4:p:1144-1166
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828054825691
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • 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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