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Bank lending and monetary policy: evidence on a credit channel

  • Charles S. Morris
  • Gordon H. Sellon, Jr.

While there is widespread agreement that banks play a key part in the transmission of monetary policy actions to the economy, debate continues on whether bank lending plays a special part in the monetary transmission mechanism. If a special lending or credit channel exists, changes in the willingness and ability of banks to extend credit may have implications for the economy. Moreover, ongoing changes in the role of banks in financial markets may affect the credit channel and so alter the monetary transmission mechanism.> Recent research on a bank credit channel has focused on two questions. Are certain borrowers so dependent on bank lending that any change in banks' willingness to lend has an immediate effect on investment and spending decisions? And, do monetary policy changes directly constrain bank lending? Both conditions are necessary for bank lending to play a special role in the monetary transmission mechanism.> Morris and Sellon provide insight into the second question--whether bank lending is constrained by monetary policy. The authors analyze how banks adjust the amount and terms of business lending when monetary policy is tightened. The analysis differs from previous research by using a more precise measure of monetary policy actions, which allows a more accurate identification of episodes of monetary tightening. The authors suggest that bank business lending is not constrained by restrictive monetary policy. Thus, Morris and Sellon conclude, monetary policy does not operate through a special credit channel.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (1995)
Issue (Month): Q II ()
Pages: 59-75

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:1995:i:qii:p:59-75:n:v.80no.2
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