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Reexamining the empirical relation between loan risk and collateral: the roles of collateral characteristics and types

  • Allen N. Berger
  • W. Scott Frame
  • Vasso P. Ioannidou

This paper offers a possible explanation for the conflicting empirical results in the literature concerning the relation between loan risk and collateral. Specifically, we posit that different economic characteristics or types of collateral pledges may be associated with the empirical dominance of the four different risk-collateral channels implied by economic theory. For our sample, collateral overall is associated with lower loan risk premiums and a higher probability of ex post loan nonperformance (delinquency or default). This finding suggests that the dominant reason collateral is pledged is that banks require collateral from observably riskier borrowers ("lender selection" effect), while lower risk premiums arise because secured loans carry lower losses given default ("loss mitigation" effect). We also find that the risk-collateral channels depend on the economic characteristics and types of collateral. The lender selection effect appears to be especially important for outside collateral, the "risk-shifting" or "loss mitigation" effects for liquid collateral, and the "borrower selection" effect for nondivertible collateral. Among collateral types, we find that the lender selection effect is particularly strong for residential real estate collateral and that the risk shifting effect is important for pledged deposits and bank guarantees. Our results suggest that the conflicting results in the extant risk-collateral literature may be because different samples may be dominated by collateralized loans with different economic characteristics or different types of collateral.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper with number 2011-12.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2011-12
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  1. David W. Blackwell & Drew B. Winters, 1997. "Banking Relationships And The Effect Of Monitoring On Loan Pricing," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 275-289, 06.
  2. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Thakor, Anjan V, 1987. " Collateral and Competitive Equilibria with Moral Hazard and Private Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 345-63, June.
  3. Laurent Weill & Christophe J. Godlewski, 2006. "Does Collateral Help Mitigate Adverse Selection? A Cross-Country Analysis," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2006-02, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
  4. Hans Degryse & Partick Van cayseele, 1998. "Relationship Lending within a Bank-based System: Evidence from European Small Business Data," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9816, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  5. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  6. Allen N. Berger & W. Scott Frame & Vasso P. Ioannidou, 2010. "Tests of ex ante versus ex post theories of collateral using private and public information," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2010-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Lehmann, Erik & Neuberger, Doris, 2001. "Do lending relationships matter?: Evidence from bank survey data in Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 339-359, August.
  8. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2011. "Bankruptcy and the Collateral Channel," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(2), pages 337-378, 04.
  9. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2004. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 285-315.
  10. Sumit Agarwal, 2010. "Distance and Private Information in Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(7), pages 2757-2788, July.
  11. Benmelech, Efraim & Bergman, Nittai K., 2009. "Collateral pricing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 339-360, March.
  12. Efraim Benmelech & Nittai K. Bergman, 2008. "Liquidation Values and the Credibility of Financial Contract Renegotiation: Evidence from U.S. Airlines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1635-1677.
  13. Voordeckers, Wim & Steijvers, Tensie, 2006. "Business collateral and personal commitments in SME lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 3067-3086, November.
  14. Efraim Benmelech & Mark J. Garmaise & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2005. "Do Liquidation Values Affect Financial Contracts? Evidence from Commercial Loan Contracts and Zoning Regulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1121-1154.
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