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On the Possibility of Credit Rationing in the Stiglitz-Weiss Model

  • Lutz G. Arnold
  • John G. Riley

Contrary to what is usually assumed, the expected revenue for lenders as a function of the loan rate cannot be globally hump-shaped in the Stiglitz-Weiss (1981) adverse selection model with a continuum of types. This has important implications. First, if there is credit rationing, there must be at least two equilibrium loan rates. Second, while at the low rate loans are rationed, all those applicants willing to pay the high rate are then served. Numerical analysis shows that unless the joint distribution of risk class and output is rather special, the two loan rate outcome with rationing is unlikely. (JEL D82, G21)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 2012-21

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:5:p:2012-21
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.2012
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  1. Hellwig, Martin, 1987. "Some recent developments in the theory of competition in markets with adverse selection ," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 319-325.
  2. Riley, John G, 1987. "Credit Rationing: A Further Remark [Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information] [Incentives Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 224-27, March.
  3. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  4. Stephen D. Williamson, 1984. "Costly Monitoring, Loan Contracts and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," Working Papers 572, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Hellmann, Thomas & Stiglitz, Joseph, 2000. "Credit and equity rationing in markets with adverse selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 281-304, February.
  6. de Meza, David & Webb, David C, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-92, May.
  7. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-55, September.
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