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Bank Response to Higher Capital Requirements: Evidence from a Quasi-natural Experiment

We study the impact of higher capital requirements on banks’ balance sheets and its transmission to the real economy. The 2011 EBA capital exercise provides an almost ideal quasi-natural experiment, which allows us to identify the effect of higher capital requirements using a difference-in-differences matching estimator. We find that treated banks increase their capital ratios not by raising their levels of equity, but by reducing their credit supply. We also show that this reduction in credit supply results in lower firm-, investment-, and sales growth for firms which obtain a larger share of their bank credit from the treated banks.

14. December 2016

Authors Reint E. Gropp Thomas Mosk Steven Ongena Carlo Wix

Professor Reint E. Gropp, PhD

About the author

Professor Reint E. Gropp, PhD

Reint E. Gropp joined the Institute as President in November 2014. He is also a Professor of Economics at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. He is Associate Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and serves as consultant for various central banks.

Suggested Reading

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Bank Response to Higher Capital Requirements: Evidence from a Quasi-natural Experiment

Reint E. Gropp Thomas Mosk Steven Ongena Carlo Wix

in: Review of Financial Studies, No. 1, 2019

Abstract

We study the impact of higher capital requirements on banks’ balance sheets and their transmission to the real economy. The 2011 EBA capital exercise is an almost ideal quasi-natural experiment to identify this impact with a difference-in-differences matching estimator. We find that treated banks increase their capital ratios by reducing their risk-weighted assets, not by raising their levels of equity, consistent with debt overhang. Banks reduce lending to corporate and retail customers, resulting in lower asset, investment, and sales growth for firms obtaining a larger share of their bank credit from the treated banks.

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