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Loan officer Incentives and the Limits of Hard Information

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  • Tobias Berg
  • Manju Puri
  • Jorg Rocholl

Abstract

Poor loan quality is often attributed to loan officers exercising poor judgment. A potential solution is to base loans on hard information alone. However, we find other consequences of bypassing discretion stemming from loan officer incentives and limits of hard information verifiability. Using unique data where loans are based on hard information, and loan officers are volume-incentivized, we find loan officers increasingly use multiple trials to move loans over the cut-off, both in a regression-discontinuity design and when the cut-off changes. Additional trials positively predict default suggesting strategic manipulation of information even when loans are based on hard information alone.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Berg & Manju Puri & Jorg Rocholl, 2013. "Loan officer Incentives and the Limits of Hard Information," NBER Working Papers 19051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19051
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    Cited by:

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    2. Stefano Filomeni & Gregory F. Udell & Alberto Zazzaro, 2016. "Hardening Soft Information: How Far Has Technology Taken Us?," CSEF Working Papers 455, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    3. Luojia Hu & Xing Huang & Andrei Simonov, 2020. "Credit Score Doctors," Working Paper Series WP 2020-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    4. Kilian R. Dinkelaker & Andreas-Walter Mattig & Stefan Morkoetter, 2019. "A Closer Look at Credt Rating Processes: Uncovering the Impact of Analyst Rotation," Working Papers on Finance 1911, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    5. Behr, Patrick & Drexler, Alejandro & Gropp, Reint & Guettler, Andre, 2020. "Financial Incentives and Loan Officer Behavior: Multitasking and Allocation of Effort under an Incomplete Contract," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 1243-1267, June.
    6. Franz Flögel, 2018. "Distance and Modern Banks’ Lending to SMEs: Ethnographic Insights from a Comparison of Regional and Large Banks in Germany," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 35-57.
    7. Paola Morales‐Acevedo & Steven Ongena, 2020. "Fear, Anger, And Credit. On Bank Robberies And Loan Conditions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 58(2), pages 921-952, April.
    8. Ha-Thu Nguyen, 2014. "Default Predictors in Credit Scoring - Evidence from France’s Retail Banking Institution," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-26, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    9. Janis Skrastins & Vikrant Vig, 2019. "How Organizational Hierarchy Affects Information Production," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 32(2), pages 564-604.
    10. Steven Ongena, 2014. "Discussion of Presbitero, Udell, and Zazzaro," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(s1), pages 87-91, February.
    11. Porzio, Claudio & Sampagnaro, Gabriele & Verdoliva, Vincenzo, 2020. "Lost in Translation: The determinants and the effect of soft information dispersion in bank lending," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    12. Bushman, Robert & Gao, Janet & Martin, Xiumin & Pacelli, Joseph, 2021. "The influence of loan officers on loan contract design and performance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2).
    13. Mosk, T.C., 2014. "Essays on banking," Other publications TiSEM d424ec24-1bfd-4be0-b19a-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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