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Monitoring and Commitment in Bank Lending Behavior


  • Rodolphe Blavy


The paper proposes a theoretical argument on the nature of bank lending, based on the idea that, through commitment and monitoring, banks overcome basic informational asymmetries with borrowers. By bringing together loan commitment theories and credit rationing theories, the paper shows that, within a framework of asymmetric information between lenders and borrowers and under costly termination of lending arrangements, commitment may explain the accumulation of nonperforming loans by banks. Two additional results follow: (i) that banks favor borrowers with well-known production functions and long-term credit history; and (ii) that interest rate spreads may be large if significant market imperfections prevail.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodolphe Blavy, 2005. "Monitoring and Commitment in Bank Lending Behavior," IMF Working Papers 05/222, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:05/222

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benston, George J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1976. "A Transactions Cost Approach to the Theory of Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 215-231, May.
    2. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
    3. Stephen D. Williamson, 1987. "Costly Monitoring, Loan Contracts, and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 135-145.
    4. Haubrich, Joseph G., 1989. "Financial intermediation : Delegated monitoring and long-term relationships," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 9-20, March.
    5. M. Dewatripont & E. Maskin, 1995. "Credit and Efficiency in Centralized and Decentralized Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 541-555.
    6. Melnik, Arie & Plaut, Steven, 1986. " Loan Commitment Contracts, Terms of Lending, and Credit Allocation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(2), pages 425-435, June.
    7. Leland, Hayne E & Pyle, David H, 1977. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 371-387, May.
    8. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    9. James, Christopher, 1982. " An Analysis of Bank Loan Rate Indexation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(3), pages 809-825, June.
    10. Boot, Arnoud W. A. & Thakor, Anjan V. & Udell, Gregory F., 1991. "Credible commitments, contract enforcement problems and banks: Intermediation as credibility assurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 605-632, June.
    11. 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.
    12. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
    13. Morgan, Donald P, 1994. "Bank Credit Commitments, Credit Rationing, and Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 87-101, February.
    14. Douglas Gale & Martin Hellwig, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 647-663.
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    More about this item


    Credit; Bank credit; Banking; Bank supervision; Bank; monitoring; commitment; asymmetry of information; probability; equation; bank lending; loan commitment; Asymmetric and Private Information; Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy;

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