Bank Integration and Business Volatility
We investigate how bank migration across state lines over the last quarter century has affected the size and covariance of business fluctuations across states. Starting with a two-state version of the unit banking model in Holmstrom and Tirole (1997), we conclude that the theoretical effect of integration on business fluctuations is ambiguous because integration dampens the impact of bank capital shocks but amplifies the impact of firm collateral shocks. The net effect empirically seems stabilizing, however, as we find fluctuations in employment growth within states falls as integration rises, especially when we instrument for the level of integration and control for employment composition within states. Integration also weakens the link between bank capital growth within states and growth in state employment and bank lending.
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