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Banking and the Determinants of Credit Crunches


  • Holmberg, Ulf

    (Department of Economics, Umeå University)


Why do banks suddenly tighten the criteria needed for credit? Credit crunches are often explained by the implementation of new regulatory rules or by sudden drops in firm quality. We present a novel model of an artificial credit market and show that crunches have a tendency to occur even if firm quality remains constant, as well as when there are no new regulatory rules stipulating lenders capital requirements. We find evidence in line with the asset deterioration hypothesis and results that emphasise the importance of accurate firm quality estimates. In addition, we find that an increase in the debts’ time to maturity reduces the probability of a credit crunch and that a conservative lending approach is intrinsically related to the onset of crunches. Thus, our results suggest some up till now partially overlooked components contributing to the financial stability of an economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Holmberg, Ulf, 2011. "Banking and the Determinants of Credit Crunches," Umeå Economic Studies 822, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0822

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    lending; screening; agent based model; financial stability;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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