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Imperfect Competition in the Interbank Market for Liquidity as a Rationale for Central Banking

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Listed:
  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Denis Gromb
  • Tanju Yorulmazer

Abstract

We study interbank lending and asset sales markets in which banks with surplus liquidity have market power vis-à-vis banks needing liquidity, frictions arise in lending due to moral hazard, and assets are bank-specific. Surplus banks ration lending and instead purchase assets from needy banks, an inefficiency more acute during financial crises. A central bank acting as a lender-of-last-resort can ameliorate this inefficiency provided it is prepared to extend potentially loss-making loans or is better informed than outside markets, as might be the case if it also performs a supervisory role. This rationale for central banking finds support in historical episodes. (JEL E58, G01, G21, G28, L13, N21)

Suggested Citation

  • Viral V. Acharya & Denis Gromb & Tanju Yorulmazer, 2012. "Imperfect Competition in the Interbank Market for Liquidity as a Rationale for Central Banking," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 184-217, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:184-217
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.4.2.184
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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