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The supply side of household finance

Listed author(s):
  • Gabriele Foà

    ()

    (Yale University)

  • Leonardo Gambacorta

    ()

    (Bank for International Settlements)

  • Luigi Guiso

    ()

    (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance)

  • Paolo Emilio Mistrulli

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

We propose a new, data-based test for the presence of biased financial advice when households choose between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages. If households are wary, the relative cost of the two types should be a sufficient statistic for a household contract choice: the attributes of the bank that makes the loan should play no role. If households rely on banks' advice to guide their choice, banks may be tempted to bias their counsel to their own advantage. In this case bank-specific supply characteristics will play a role in the household's choice above any role they play through relative prices. Testing this hypothesis on a sample of 1.6 million mortgages originated in Italy between 2004 and 2010, we find that the choice between adjustable and fixed rates is significantly affected by change in banks' supply factors, especially in periods during which banks do not change the relative price of the two mortgage types. This supports the view that banks are able to affect customers' mortgage choices not only by pricing but also through an advice channel.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2015/2015-1044/en_tema_1044.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 1044.

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Date of creation: Nov 2015
Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_1044_15
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  1. 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.
  2. Utpal Bhattacharya & Andreas Hackethal & Simon Kaesler & Benjamin Loos & Steffen Meyer, 2012. "Is Unbiased Financial Advice to Retail Investors Sufficient? Answers from a Large Field Study," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(4), pages 975-1032.
  3. Berlin, Mitchell & Mester, Loretta J, 1999. "Deposits and Relationship Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(3), pages 579-607.
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  10. Cristian Badarinza & John Y. Campbell & Tarun Ramadorai, 2014. "What Calls to ARMs? International Evidence on Interest Rates and the Choice of Adjustable-Rate Mortgages," NBER Working Papers 20408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ivashina, Victoria & Scharfstein, David, 2010. "Bank lending during the financial crisis of 2008," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 319-338, September.
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