Monetary Policy and Bank Lending in Japan: An Agency-based Approach
This paper studies the incentive effects on Japanese banks of a low interest rate policy by the Bank of Japan. It utilizes a simplified version of an overlapping principal-agent-style model of corporate finance originally developed in Dietrich (2003). This model is dedicated to study the monetary policy transmission mechanism by combining arguments of the broad credit channel and the bank lending channel taking into account that banks need to be provided with incentives to monitor entrepreneurs. We argue that stipulating banks to possess some amount of own capital generate these incentives. We denote this capital requirement to be market based and show that this requirement depends crucially on interest rates. After revealing some shortcomings of the credit crunch hypothesis, we apply this approach to the Japanese economy. As a result, a policy of very low interest rates may not only be inefficient but counterproductive to reactivate a stumbled economy via the usual credit channel.