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Monitoring, moral hazard, and market power: a model of bank lending

  • Daniel Covitz
  • Erik Heitfield
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    We model the relationship between market power and both loan interest rates and bank risk without placing strong restrictions on the moral hazard problems between borrowers and banks and between banks and a government guarantor. Our results suggest that these relationships hinge on intuitive parameterizations of the overlapping moral hazard problems. Surprisingly, for lending markets with a high degree of borrower moral hazard but limited bank moral hazard, we find that banks with market power charge lower interest rates than competitive banks. We also find that competition makes banking industry risk highly sensitive to macroeconomic fluctuations by making banks more vulnerable to borrower moral hazard. This finding offers an explanation for the dramatic rise and subsequent decline in bank failure rates during the 1980s and 1990s.

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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1999/199937/199937abs.html
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1999/199937/199937pap.pdf
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    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 1999-37.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-37
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    1. Allen N. Berger & Timothy H. Hannan, 1987. "The price-concentration relationship in banking," Research Papers in Banking and Financial Economics 100, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 1997. "Bank Solvency, Market Structure, and Monitoring Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 1665, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. John, Kose & John, Teresa A. & Saunders, Anthony, 1994. "Universal banking and firm risk-taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 307-323, January.
    4. Besanko, David & Kanatas, George, 1993. "Credit Market Equilibrium with Bank Monitoring and Moral Hazard," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 213-32.
    5. Hannan, Timothy H., 1991. "Bank commercial loan markets and the role of market structure: evidence from surveys of commercial lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 133-149, February.
    6. John H. Boyd & Chun Chang & Bruce D. Smith, 1998. "Moral hazard under commercial and universal banking," Working Papers 585, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    7. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Monitoring and Reputation: The Choice between Bank Loans and Directly Placed Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 689-721, August.
    8. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    9. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1994. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," NBER Working Papers 4921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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