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In search for yield? Survey-based evidence on bank risk taking

  • Buch, Claudia M.
  • Eickmeier, Sandra
  • Prieto, Esteban

There is growing consensus that the conduct of monetary policy can have an impact on stability through the risk-taking incentives of banks. Falling interest rates might induce a 'search for yield' and generate incentives to invest into risky activities. This paper provides evidence on the link between monetary policy, commercial property prices, and bank risk taking. We use a factor-augmented vector autoregressive model (FAVAR) for the U.S. for the period 1997-2008. We include standard macroeconomic indicators and factors summarizing information provided in the Federal Reserve's Survey of Terms of Business Lending. These data allow modeling the reactions of banks' new lending volumes and prices as well as the riskiness of new loans. We do not find evidence for increased risk taking for the entire banking system after a monetary policy loosening or an unexpected increase in property prices. This masks, however, important differences across banking groups. Small domestic banks increase their exposure to risk, foreign banks lower risk, and large domestic banks do not change their risk exposure.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2011,10.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:201110
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  1. Bester,Helmut Hellwig,Martin, 1987. "Moral hazard and equilibrium credit rationing: An overview of the issues," Discussion Paper Serie A 125, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Jiménez, Gabriel & Ongena, Steven & Peydró, José Luis & Saurina, Jesús, 2007. "Hazardous Times for Monetary Policy: What Do Twenty-Three Million Bank Loans Say About the Effects of Monetary Policy on Credit Risk?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. DellAriccia, Giovanni & Laeven, Luc & Marquez, Robert, 2011. "Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk-taking," CEPR Discussion Papers 8199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. De Graeve, F. & Kick, T. & Koetter, M., 2008. "Monetary policy and financial (in)stability: An integrated micro-macro approach," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 205-231, September.
  5. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, 2010. "Monetary Policy and Bank Risk-Taking," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/09, International Monetary Fund.
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