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Assessing the shape of the distribution of interest rates: lessons from French individual data


  • Lacroix, R.


Estimating mixture models still raises numerous questions, both theoretical and empirical. However, this class of model appears quite powerful for a parcimonious modelization of ill-behaved distribution, as it is the case with loans rate vis-à-vis the private sector collected by the Banque de France from a panel of French credit institutions. Indeed, the heterogeneity of the credit market is a well-established fact which translate into high variability of interest rates at the micro level. Thus, we provide a detailed analysis of 11 categories of loans to non-financial corporations and households, and compare various procedures for the estimation of mixture models with a large number of components. The results allow us to identify modes in the distributions of interest rates and to clarify the nature of heterogeneity in the data in relation with the specialization of some part of the banking sector on particular instruments. Lastly, our methodology allows us to quantify the effects of the usury law on the upper side of the distribution, and to propose a preliminary estimate of eviction rates resulting from this regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Lacroix, R., 2008. "Assessing the shape of the distribution of interest rates: lessons from French individual data," Working papers 206, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:206

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hansen, Bruce E, 1996. "Inference When a Nuisance Parameter Is Not Identified under the Null Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 413-430, March.
    2. Peter C. B. Phillips & Hyungsik R. Moon, 1999. "Linear Regression Limit Theory for Nonstationary Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 1057-1112.
    3. Andrews, Donald W K, 2001. "Testing When a Parameter Is on the Boundary of the Maintained Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 683-734, May.
    4. Donald W. K. Andrews, 1999. "Estimation When a Parameter Is on a Boundary," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1341-1384, November.
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    More about this item


    Mixture Model ; Usury Law ; Credit Market.;

    JEL classification:

    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects


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