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Inconsistent Regulators: Evidence From Banking

  • Sumit Agarwal
  • David Lucca
  • Amit Seru
  • Francesco Trebbi

US state chartered commercial banks are supervised alternately by state and federal regulators. Each regulator supervises a given bank for a fixed time period according to a predetermined rotation schedule. We use unique data to examine differences between federal and state regulators for these banks. Federal regulators are significantly less lenient, downgrading supervisory ratings about twice as frequently as state supervisors. Under federal regulators, banks report higher nonperforming loans, more delinquent loans, higher regulatory capital ratios, and lower ROA. There is a higher frequency of bank failures and problem-bank rates in states with more lenient supervision relative to the federal benchmark. Some states are more lenient than others. Regulatory capture by industry constituents and supervisory staff characteristics can explain some of these differences. These findings suggest that inconsistent oversight can hamper the effectiveness of regulation by delaying corrective actions and by inducing costly variability in operations of regulated entities.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17736.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17736.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Publication status: published as Sumit Agarwal & David Lucca & Amit Seru & Francesco Trebbi, 2014. "Inconsistent Regulators: Evidence from Banking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 889-938.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17736
Note: CF ME POL
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  1. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jérome Pouyet, 2000. "The Subsidiarity Bias in Regulation," series 0001, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari, revised Jun 2000.
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  3. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 1999. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 92, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  4. Rosen, Richard J, 2003. " Is Three a Crowd? Competition among Regulators in Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 967-98, December.
  5. Berger, Allen N & Davies, Sally M & Flannery, Mark J, 2000. "Comparing Market and Supervisory Assessments of Bank Performance: Who Knows What When?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(3), pages 641-67, August.
  6. Michael J. Brennan & Eduardo S. Schwartz, 1982. "Consistent Regulatory Policy under Uncertainty," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 506-521, Autumn.
  7. Elizabeth Olmstead Teisberg, 1993. "Capital Investment Strategies under Uncertain Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 591-604, Winter.
  8. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Martimort, David, 1994. "Separation of Regulators against Collusive Behavior," IDEI Working Papers 44, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  9. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  10. Martimort, David, 1999. "Renegotiation Design with Multiple Regulators," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 261-293, October.
  11. Richard J. Rosen, 2005. "Switching primary federal regulators: is it beneficial for U.S. banks?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 16-23.
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