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Private information and lender discretion across time and institutions

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  • Ambrocio, Gene
  • Hasan, Iftekhar

Abstract

We assess the extent to which discretion, unexplained variations in the terms of a loan contract, has varied across time and lending institutions and show that part of this discretion is due to private information that lenders have on their borrowers. We find that discretion is lower for secured loans and loans granted by a larger group of lenders, and is larger when the lenders are larger and more profitable. Over time, discretion is also lower around recessions although the private information content is higher. The results suggest that bank discretionary and private information acquisition behaviour may be important features of the credit cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Ambrocio, Gene & Hasan, Iftekhar, 2018. "Private information and lender discretion across time and institutions," Research Discussion Papers 17/2018, Bank of Finland.
  • Handle: RePEc:bof:bofrdp:2018_017
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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