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On the Profitability and Cost of Relationship Lending

  • Mitchell Berlin
  • Loretta J. Mester

We provide evidence on the costs and profitability of relationship lending by banks. We derive bank-specific measures of loan rate smoothing for small business borrowers in response to exogenous shocks to their credit risk and to interest rates, and then estimate cost and profit functions to examine how smoothing affects bank costs and profits. Our results suggests that, in general, loan rate smoothing in response to a credit risk shock is not part of an optimal long-term contract between a bank and its borrower, while loan rate smoothing in response to an interest rate shock is.

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File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/97/9743.pdf
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Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 97-43.

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Date of creation: Jul 1997
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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:97-43
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  1. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-43, May.
  2. Julio J. Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 1986. "The Relative Rigidity of Monopoly Pricing," NBER Working Papers 1943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hannan, Timothy H., 1991. "Bank commercial loan markets and the role of market structure: evidence from surveys of commercial lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 133-149, February.
  4. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the Black Box: What Explains Differences in the Efficiencies of Financial Institutions?," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-04, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-58, September.
  6. Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1989. "The federal funds rate and the channels of monetary transmission," Working Papers 89-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1992. "Some Evidence on the Empirical Significance of Credit Rationing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 1047-77, October.
  8. Berger, Allen N. & Udell, Gregory F., 1990. "Collateral, loan quality and bank risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 21-42, January.
  9. Joseph P. Hughes & William W. Lang & Loretta J. Mester & Choon-Geol Moon, 1996. "Safety in numbers? Geographic diversification and bank insolvency risk," Proceedings 504, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Mitchell Berlin & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Deposits and relationship lending," Working Papers 96-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  11. Robert B. Avery & Allen N. Berger, 1989. "Loan commitments and bank risk exposure," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 65, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Fried, Joel & Howitt, Peter, 1980. "Credit Rationing and Implicit Contract Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(3), pages 471-87, August.
  13. Clive D. Fraser, . "Safety in Numbers," Discussion Papers in Public Sector Economics 96/9, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
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