IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Bank Capital and the Credit Crunch: The Roles of Risk‐Weighted and Unweighted Capital Regulations


  • Diana Hancock
  • James A. Wilcox


We investigated whether in recent years banks have increased their holdings of securities at the expense of their holdings of business loans in response to shortfalls of their capital relative to risk‐weighted capital standards and relative to a capital standard that made no explicit allowance for credit risk. We estimated that bank credit fell by about $4.50 for each $1 that a bank's capital fell short of the unweighted capital standard. Banks that had less capital than required by the risk‐weighted standard appear to have shifted away from assets with low risk weights (securities and single‐family mortgages) and to have shifted toward assets with higher risk weights (commercial real estate and commercial and industrial loans). When we included both shortfall variables in a regression, shortfalls relative to the unweighted capital standard significantly affected bank credit, while shortfalls of capital relative to the risk‐weighted standard did not. We found no significant effects of capital shortfalls at other, local‐competitor banks on bank portfolios. Delinquencies in a given category of a bank's loans generally had significantly negative effects on that bank's holdings of loans in that category. In contrast, banks tended to increase holdings of loans in categories in which local‐competitor banks were experiencing higher delinquency rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Diana Hancock & James A. Wilcox, 1994. "Bank Capital and the Credit Crunch: The Roles of Risk‐Weighted and Unweighted Capital Regulations," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(1), pages 59-94, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:22:y:1994:i:1:p:59-94
    DOI: 10.1111/1540-6229.00626

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James T. Fergus & John L. Goodman, 1993. "The 1989-92 credit crunch for real estate. (summary of staff study)," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 676-677.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.

      More about this item


      Access and download statistics


      All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:22:y:1994:i:1:p:59-94. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

      If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

      If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

      If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

      For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

      Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

      IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.