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Explaining differences in farm lending among banks

  • Mark E. Levonian
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    Do small, rural banks lend to farmers because they are small, or because they are rural? This paper combines a new measure of the extent of agricultural activity in banking markets with an appropriate statistical framework to examine causes of interbank variation in agricultural production loans. The results show that a bank's size and head office location both matter to some extent, but that the size of a bank's branches in agricultural areas is the single most important factor determining agricultural loan levels. Other variables, such as ownership structure and charter type, have no significant effects. While far from definitive, the results suggest that industry consolidation and mergers may have little effect on agricultural credit, as long as they do not lead to the outright closure of branches in rural areas.

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    File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/econrsrch/econrev/96-3/levonian.pdf
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    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (1996)
    Issue (Month): ()
    Pages: 12-22

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1996:p:12-22:n:3
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    1. Gary C. Zimmerman, 1989. "Agricultural lending in the West," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue dec22.
    2. McDonald, John F & Moffitt, Robert A, 1980. "The Uses of Tobit Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 318-21, May.
    3. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Elizabeth S. Laderman & Ronald H. Schmidt & Gary C. Zimmerman, 1991. "Location, branching, and bank portfolio diversification: the case of agricultural lending," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Win, pages 24-38.
    5. Jeffery W. Gunther & Thomas F. Seims, 1995. "The likelihood and extent of bank participation in derivatives activities," Financial Industry Studies Working Paper 95-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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