IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jfinec/v129y2018i3p608-628.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Loan prospecting and the loss of soft information

Author

Listed:
  • Agarwal, Sumit
  • Ben-David, Itzhak

Abstract

We study a controlled experiment in which a bank's loan officers were incentivized based on originated loan volume to encourage prospecting for new business. While treated loan officers did attract new applications, both extensive and intensive margins of loan origination expanded (+ 31% new loans; loan size + 15%). We find that loan officers gave greater weight to hard information in approval decisions. Despite no change in the observable characteristics of approved loans, their default rate increased (+ 24%). Finally, the bank's imputed credit default model lost its predictive power. Overall, loan prospecting incentives led to unfavorable soft information being overlooked in the origination process.

Suggested Citation

  • Agarwal, Sumit & Ben-David, Itzhak, 2018. "Loan prospecting and the loss of soft information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(3), pages 608-628.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:129:y:2018:i:3:p:608-628
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2018.05.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304405X18301272
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jfineco.2018.05.003?utm_source=ideas
    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
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2016. "Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(2), pages 305-370.
    3. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2015. "Neglected Risks: The Psychology of Financial Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 310-314, May.
    4. Rajan, Uday & Seru, Amit & Vig, Vikrant, 2015. "The failure of models that predict failure: Distance, incentives, and defaults," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 237-260.
    5. Acharya, Viral V. & Cooley, Thomas & Richardson, Matthew & Walter, Ingo, 2010. "Manufacturing Tail Risk: A Perspective on the Financial Crisis of 2007–2009," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 4(4), pages 247-325, April.
    6. Acharya, Viral & Naqvi, Hassan, 2012. "The seeds of a crisis: A theory of bank liquidity and risk taking over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 349-366.
    7. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    8. Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger & Stulz, René M., 2011. "Bank CEO incentives and the credit crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 11-26, January.
    9. Cerqueiro, Geraldo & Degryse, Hans & Ongena, Steven, 2011. "Rules versus discretion in loan rate setting," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 503-529, October.
    10. Shawn Cole & Martin Kanz & Leora Klapper, 2015. "Incentivizing Calculated Risk-Taking: Evidence from an Experiment with Commercial Bank Loan Officers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(2), pages 537-575, April.
    11. Berger, Allen N. & Miller, Nathan H. & Petersen, Mitchell A. & Rajan, Raghuram G. & Stein, Jeremy C., 2005. "Does function follow organizational form? Evidence from the lending practices of large and small banks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 237-269, May.
    12. Yuliya Demyanyk & Otto Van Hemert, 2011. "Understanding the Subprime Mortgage Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 1848-1880.
    13. Anjan Thakor, 2015. "Lending Booms, Smart Bankers, and Financial Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 305-309, May.
    14. Gropp, R. & Grundl, C. & Guttler, A., 2012. "Does Discretion in Lending Increase Bank Risk? Borrower Self-Selection and Loan Officer Capture Effects," Discussion Paper 2012-030, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    15. Amir Sufi, 2007. "Information Asymmetry and Financing Arrangements: Evidence from Syndicated Loans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 629-668, April.
    16. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    17. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-431, July.
    18. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 2002. "Small Business Credit Availability and Relationship Lending: The Importance of Bank Organisational Structure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages 32-53, February.
    19. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    20. George Baker, 2002. "Distortion and Risk in Optimal Incentive Contracts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 728-751.
    21. Christopher J. Mayer & Karen Pence, 2008. "Subprime Mortgages: What, Where, and to Whom?," NBER Working Papers 14083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Florian Heider & Roman Inderst, 2012. "Loan Prospecting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(8), pages 2381-2415.
    23. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
    24. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2533-2570, December.
    25. Sumit Agarwal, 2010. "Distance and Private Information in Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(7), pages 2757-2788, July.
    26. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    27. Martin Brown & Matthias Schaller & Simone Westerfeld & Markus Heusler, 2012. "Information or Insurance? On the Role of Loan Officer Discretion in Credit Assessment," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 67, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    28. Andrew Hertzberg & Jose Maria Liberti & Daniel Paravisini, 2010. "Information and Incentives Inside the Firm: Evidence from Loan Officer Rotation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 795-828, June.
    29. Tzioumis, Konstantinos & Gee, Matthew, 2013. "Nonlinear incentives and mortgage officers’ decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 436-453.
    30. Udell, Gregory F., 1989. "Loan quality, commercial loan review and loan officer contracting," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 367-382, July.
    31. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
    32. Itzhak Ben-David, 2011. "Financial Constraints and Inflated Home Prices during the Real Estate Boom," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 55-87, July.
    33. Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362.
    34. Bengt Holmström, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 169-182.
    35. Cerqueiro, Geraldo & Degryse, Hans & Ongena, Steven, 2011. "Rules versus discretion in loan rate setting," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 503-529, October.
    36. repec:hrv:faseco:33077926 is not listed on IDEAS
    37. Cerqueiro, Geraldo & Degryse, Hans & Ongena, Steven, 2011. "Rules versus discretion in loan rate setting," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 503-529, October.
    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.
    1. José María Liberti & Mitchell A. Petersen, 2018. "Information: Hard and Soft," NBER Working Papers 25075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jens Grunert & Lars Norden, 2012. "Bargaining power and information in SME lending," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 401-417, September.
    3. Bellucci, Andrea & Borisov, Alexander & Zazzaro, Alberto, 2010. "Does gender matter in bank-firm relationships? Evidence from small business lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2968-2984, December.
    4. Thorsten Beck & Vasso Ioannidou & Larissa Schäfer, 2018. "Foreigners vs. Natives: Bank Lending Technologies and Loan Pricing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(8), pages 3792-3820, August.
    5. Masazumi Hattori & Kohei Shintani & Hirofumi Uchida, 2015. "The Repository of Soft Information within Bank Organizations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(4), pages 737-770, June.
    6. Degryse, H.A. & Cerqueiro, G.M. & Ongena, S., 2007. "Distance, Bank Organizational Structure and Credit," Other publications TiSEM 34c2f607-3395-4fd9-9c52-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    7. Marko Jakšič & Matej Marinč, 2019. "Relationship banking and information technology: the role of artificial intelligence and FinTech," Risk Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 21(1), pages 1-18, March.
    8. Simon Cornée, 2012. "The Relevance of Soft Information for Predicting Small Business Credit Default: Evidence from a Social Bank," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201226, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS, revised Sep 2015.
    9. Hollander, Stephan & Verriest, Arnt, 2016. "Bridging the gap: the design of bank loan contracts and distance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 399-419.
    10. Mosk, T.C., 2014. "Essays on banking," Other publications TiSEM d424ec24-1bfd-4be0-b19a-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. Gropp, R. & Grundl, C. & Guttler, A., 2012. "Does Discretion in Lending Increase Bank Risk? Borrower Self-Selection and Loan Officer Capture Effects," Other publications TiSEM bfec5360-2a2b-47e4-ba3f-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    12. Simon Cornée, 2014. "Soft Information and Default Prediction in Cooperative and Social Banks," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 3(1), pages 89-103, June.
    13. Uchida, Hirofumi & Udell, Gregory F. & Yamori, Nobuyoshi, 2012. "Loan officers and relationship lending to SMEs," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 97-122.
    14. Barboni, Giorgia & Rossi, Carlotta, 2019. "Does your neighbour know you better? The supportive role of local banks in the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 514-526.
    15. Alberto Bayo-Moriones & Jose E. Galdon-Sanchez & Sara Martinez-de-Morentin, 2017. "Performance Measurement and Incentive Intensity," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 496-546, December.
    16. Tantri, Prasanna, 2021. "Identifying ever-greening: Evidence using loan-level data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    17. Stefano Filomeni & Gregory F. Udell & Alberto Zazzaro, 2016. "Hardening Soft Information: How Far Has Technology Taken Us?," CSEF Working Papers 455, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    18. Michele Benvenuti & Luca Casolaro & Silvia Del Prete & Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2017. "The Right to Decide and the Effective Control Over Small Business Lending Decisions: A Look into Loan Officers’ Real Authority," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 46(2), pages 237-268, July.
    19. Luca Papi & Emma Sarno & Alberto Zazzaro, 2017. "The geographical network of bank organizations: issues and evidence for Italy," Chapters, in: Ron Martin & Jane Pollard (ed.), Handbook on the Geographies of Money and Finance, chapter 8, pages 156-196, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    20. Gropp, Reint & Guettler, Andre, 2018. "Hidden gems and borrowers with dirty little secrets: Investment in soft information, borrower self-selection and competition," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 26-39.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Loan officers; Loan prospecting; Information production; Banking; Soft information; Big data; Credit default model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:eee:jfinec:v:129:y:2018:i:3:p:608-628. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576 .

    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: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576 .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.