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On the profitability and cost of relationship lending

  • Berlin, Mitchell
  • Mester, Loretta J.

We provide evidence on the costs and profitability of relationship lending by banks. We derive bank-specific measures of loan rate smoothing for small business borrowers in response to exogenous shocks to their credit risk and to interest rates, and then estimate cost and profit functions to examine how smoothing affects bank costs and profits. Our results suggests that, in general, loan rate smoothing in response to a credit risk shock is not part of an optimal long-term contract between a bank and its borrower, while loan rate smoothing in response to an interest rate shock is.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 22 (1998)
Issue (Month): 6-8 (August)
Pages: 873-897

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:22:y:1998:i:6-8:p:873-897
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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  1. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 1988. "Collateral, loan quality, and bank risk," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the black box: what explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 901-21, September.
  4. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1987. "The Relative Rigidity of Monopoly Pricing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 917-26, December.
  5. Fried, Joel & Howitt, Peter, 1980. "Credit Rationing and Implicit Contract Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(3), pages 471-87, August.
  6. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-43, May.
  7. Robert B. Avery & Allen N. Berger, 1989. "Loan commitments and bank risk exposure," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 65, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1992. "Some Evidence on the Empirical Significance of Credit Rationing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 1047-77, October.
  9. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Safety in numbers? Geographic diversification and bank insolvency risk," Proceedings 504, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Mitchell Berlin & Loretta J. Mester, 1998. "Deposits and relationship lending," Working Papers 98-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  11. Hannan, Timothy H., 1991. "Bank commercial loan markets and the role of market structure: evidence from surveys of commercial lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 133-149, February.
  12. Dennis W. Carlton, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," NBER Working Papers 1813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Clive D. Fraser, . "Safety in Numbers," Discussion Papers in Public Sector Economics 96/9, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
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