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When losses turn into loans: the cost of undercapitalized banks

Author

Listed:
  • Luísa Farinha
  • Francisca Rebelo
  • Laura Blattner

Abstract

We provide evidence that a weak banking sector has contributed to low productivity growth following the European sovereign debt crisis. An unexpected increase in capital requirements for a subset of Portuguese banks in 2011 provides a natural experiment to study the effects of reduced bank capital adequacy on productivity. Affected banks respond not only by cutting back on lending but also by reallocating credit to firms in financial distress with prior underreported loan loss provisioning. We develop a method to detect when banks delay loss reporting using detailed loan-level data. We then show that the credit reallocation leads to a reallocation of production factors across firms. A partial equilibrium exercise suggests that the resulting increase in factor misallocation accounts for 20% of the decline in productivity in Portugal in 2012.

Suggested Citation

  • Luísa Farinha & Francisca Rebelo & Laura Blattner, 2018. "When losses turn into loans: the cost of undercapitalized banks," Working Papers w201816, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201816
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ana Fontoura Gouveia & Christian Osterhold, 2018. "Fear the walking dead: zombie firms, spillovers and exit barriers," Working Papers w201811, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    2. Carlos Robalo Marques & Daniel A. Dias, 2018. "Every cloud has a silver lining: micro-level evidence on the cleansing effects of the portuguese financial crisis," Working Papers w201818, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    3. Suarez, Javier & Sánchez Serrano, Antonio, 2018. "Approaching non-performing loans from a macroprudential angle," Report of the Advisory Scientific Committee 7, European Systemic Risk Board.
    4. Alfaro, Laura & García-Santana, Manuel & Moral-Benito, Enrique, 2018. "On the Direct and Indirect Real Effects of Credit Supply Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 12794, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Fabiano Schivardi & Enrico Sette & Guido Tabellini, 2017. "Credit misallocation during the European financial crisis," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1139, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Hans Degryse & Artashes Karapetyan & Sudipto Karmakar, 2018. "To Ask or Not To Ask? Collateral versus Screening in Lending Relationships," Working Papers REM 2018/49, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
    7. Degryse, Hans & Karapetyan, Artashes & Karmakar, Sudipto, 2018. "To Ask or Not To Ask? Bank Capital Requirements and Loan Collateralization," CEPR Discussion Papers 13331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2018. "A Sufficient Statistics Approach for Aggregating Firm-Level Experiments," NBER Working Papers 24208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Tracey, Belinda, 2019. "The real effects of zombie lending in Europe," Bank of England working papers 783, Bank of England.
    10. Ristolainen, Kim, 2018. "Getting better? The effect of the single supervisory mechanism on banks' loan loss reporting and loan loss reserves," Research Discussion Papers 11/2018, Bank of Finland.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • 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
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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