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Is There an Optimal Size for the Financial Sector

Author

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  • Anthony M. Santomero
  • John J. Seater

Abstract

This paper derives the optimal size of the financial sector using a general equilibrium framework that is an extension of Holmstrom and Tirole's 1997 paper. We show that the financial sector has a unique optimal size relative to the size of the economy as a whole. Creating and maintaining this sector requires diversion of some physical capital from production of output to monitoring that production. However, the efficiency gain in output production brought about by monitoring warrants the diversion. It is also found that the optimal size of the financial sector is independent of the state of the economy and does not vary over the business cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony M. Santomero & John J. Seater, 1999. "Is There an Optimal Size for the Financial Sector," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-35, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:98-35
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    File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/98/9835.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and The Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-691.
    2. Bhattacharya Sudipto & Thakor Anjan V., 1993. "Contemporary Banking Theory," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 2-50, October.
    3. Franklin Allen, Douglas Gale, 1988. "Optimal Security Design," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, pages 229-263.
    4. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1990. "Financial Fragility and Economic Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 87-114.
    5. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
    6. Leland, Hayne E & Pyle, David H, 1977. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 371-387, May.
    7. Bernanke, Ben S, 1981. "Bankruptcy, Liquidity, and Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 155-159, May.
    8. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    9. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
    10. Allen, Franklin & Santomero, Anthony M., 1997. "The theory of financial intermediation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(11-12), pages 1461-1485, December.
    11. Fama, Eugene F., 1985. "What's different about banks?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 29-39, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Drew Saunders, 2009. "The Elastic Provision of Liquidity by Private Agents," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(7), pages 1423-1451, October.
    2. Ductor, Lorenzo & Grechyna, Daryna, 2015. "Financial development, real sector, and economic growth," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 393-405.
    3. Gianni De Nicolo & Sami Geadah & Dmitriy L Rozhkov, 2003. "Financial Development in the CIS-7 Countries; Bridging the Great Divide," IMF Working Papers 03/205, International Monetary Fund.
    4. John J. Seater, 2000. "Optimal Bank Regulation and Monetary Policy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-38, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Lin Lin & Hsien-Chang Kuo & I-Liang Lin, 2008. "Merger and optimal number of firms: an integrated simulation approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(18), pages 2413-2421.
    6. Leyla Yusifzada & Aytan Mammadova, 2015. "Financial intermediation and economic growth," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1091, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. Fatima S. Al Shamsi & Hassan Aly & Mohamed El-Bassiouni, 2009. "Measuring and explaining the efficiencies of the United Arab Emirates banking system," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(27), pages 3505-3519.
    8. Michael Graff, 2005. "Is There an Optimum Level of Financial Activity?," KOF Working papers 05-106, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    9. Miyake, Atsushi & Nakamura, Tamotsu, 2007. "A dynamic analysis of an economy with banking optimization and capital adequacy regulations," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 14-27.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial sector; intermediation theory; financial institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

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