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Lending Pro-Cyclicality and Macro-Prudential Policy: Evidence from Japanese LTV Ratios

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  • Arito Ono
  • Hirofumi Uchida
  • Gregory Udell
  • Iichiro Uesugi

Abstract

Using a large and unique micro dataset compiled from the official real estate registry in Japan, we examine the loan-to-value (LTV) ratios for business loans from 1975 to 2009 to draw some implications for the ongoing debate on the use of LTV ratio caps as a macro-prudential policy measure. We find that the LTV ratio exhibits counter-cyclicality, implying that the increase (decrease) in loan volume is smaller than the increase (decrease) in land values during booms(busts). Most importantly, LTV ratios are at their lowest during the bubble period in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The counter-cyclicality of LTV ratios is robust to controlling for various characteristics of loans, borrowers, and lenders. We also find that borrowers that exhibited high-LTV loans performed no worse ex-post than those with lower LTV loans, and sometimes performed better during the bubble period. Our findings imply that a simple fixed cap on LTV ratios might not only be ineffective in curbing loan volume in boom periods but also inhibit well-performing firms from borrowing. This casts doubt on the efficacy of employing a simple LTV cap as an effective macro-prudential policy measure.

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  • Arito Ono & Hirofumi Uchida & Gregory Udell & Iichiro Uesugi, 2014. "Lending Pro-Cyclicality and Macro-Prudential Policy: Evidence from Japanese LTV Ratios," Working Papers e070, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcr:wpaper:e70
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    JEL classification:

    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • R33 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Nonagricultural and Nonresidential Real Estate Markets
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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