Bank Competition and Economic Stability: The Role of Monetary Policy
This paper analyzes the dual role of monetary policy for economic efficiency and stability in a model of endogenous bank competition. Multiple equilibria emerge from the complementarity between bank and non-financial firm decisions. Adverse aggregate or idiosyncratic liquidity shocks may cause a breakdown in which the economy collapses into a no-production equilibrium. Less bank competition improves the profitability of banks and makes the economy less vulnerable to adverse shocks but it also distorts the efficient allocation of capital. This stability/efficiency tradeoff creates a motive for monetary policy to be tight when liquidity is abundant to spur bank competition and to be loose in bad times to restore the profitability of banks and decrease the likelihood of economic and financial crashes.
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