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In Search for Yield? New Survey-Based Evidence on Bank Risk Taking


  • Claudia M. Buch
  • Sandra Eickmeier
  • Esteban Prieto


There is growing consensus that the conduct of monetary policy can have an impact on financial and economic stability through the risk-taking incentives of banks. Falling interest rates might induce a "search for yield" and generate incentives to invest into risky activities. This paper provides evidence on the link between monetary policy and commercial property prices and the risk-taking incentives of banks. We use a factor-augmented vector autoregressive model (FAVAR) for the U.S. for the years 1997-2008. We include standard macroeconomic indicators and factors summarizing information provided in the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Terms of Business Lending. These data allow modeling the reactions of banks’ new lending volumes and the riskiness of new loans. We do not find evidence for a risk-taking channel for the entire banking system after a monetary policy loosening or an unexpected increase in property prices. This masks, however, important differences across banking groups. Small domestic banks increase their exposure to risk, foreign banks lower risk, and large domestic banks do not change their risk exposure.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia M. Buch & Sandra Eickmeier & Esteban Prieto, 2011. "In Search for Yield? New Survey-Based Evidence on Bank Risk Taking," CESifo Working Paper Series 3375, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3375

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Laeven, Luc & Marquez, Robert, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk-Taking," Working Papers 11-05, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
    2. De Graeve, F. & Kick, T. & Koetter, M., 2008. "Monetary policy and financial (in)stability: An integrated micro-macro approach," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 205-231, September.
    3. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, 2010. "Monetary Policy and Bank Risk-Taking," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/09, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Jiminez, G. & Ongena, S. & Saurina, J., 2007. "Hazardous Times for Monetary Policy : What do Twenty-three Million Bank Loans Say about the Effects of Monetary Policy on Credit Risk?," Discussion Paper 2007-75, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yener Altunbas & Leonardo Gambacorta & David Marques-Ibanez, 2014. "Does Monetary Policy Affect Bank Risk?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 10(1), pages 95-136, March.
    2. repec:bla:jfinan:v:72:y:2017:i:2:p:613-654 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nguyen, Vu Hong Thai & Boateng, Agyenim, 2015. "An analysis of involuntary excess reserves, monetary policy and risk-taking behaviour of Chinese Banks," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 63-72.
    4. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Luc Laeven & Gustavo A. Suarez, 2017. "Bank Leverage and Monetary Policy's Risk-Taking Channel: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 72(2), pages 613-654, April.
    5. Drakos, Anastassios A. & Kouretas, Georgios P. & Tsoumas, Chris, 2016. "Ownership, interest rates and bank risk-taking in Central and Eastern European countries," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 308-319.

    More about this item


    FAVAR; bank risk taking; macro-finance linkages; monetary policy; commercial property prices;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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