Big Banks and Macroeconomic Outcomes: Theory and Cross-Country Evidence of Granularity
NBER Working Paper No. 19093,
Does the mere presence of big banks affect macroeconomic outcomes? In this paper, we develop a theory of granularity (Gabaix, 2011) for the banking sector, introducing Bertrand competition and heterogeneous banks charging variable markups. Using this framework, we show conditions under which idiosyncratic shocks to bank lending can generate aggregate fluctuations in the credit supply when the banking sector is highly concentrated. We empirically assess the relevance of these granular effects in banking using a linked micro-macro dataset of more than 80 countries for the years 1995-2009. The banking sector for many countries is indeed granular, as the right tail of the bank size distribution follows a power law. We then demonstrate granular effects in the banking sector on macroeconomic outcomes. The presence of big banks measured by high market concentration is associated with a positive and significant relationship between bank-level credit growth and aggregate growth of credit or gross domestic product.
Bank Credit Standards, Demand, Pro-cyclicality and the Business Cycle: A Comment
Moneda y crédito,
We analyze the determinants fo standards and demand for loans to firms and house-holds over the last business cycle using the comprehensive and confidential Bank Lending Survery from the Euro area. There is significant variation of standards and demand over the cycle. Standards for business loans vary more during the business cycle than the lending standards for households, whereas credit demand from households varies more than demand from firms. Lending standards vary mainly due to charges in perception of borrower risk, bank balance sheet positions and competitive pressures. In particular, we find that higher GDP growth softens lending standards for all loans, i. e. lending standards are pro-cyclical. However, we also find pro-cyclicality in credit demand.
Regional Growth and Finance in Europe: Is there a Quality Effect of Bank Efficiency?
Journal of Banking & Finance,
In this study, we test whether regional growth in 11 European countries depends on financial development and suggest the use of cost- and profit-efficiency estimates as quality measures of financial institutions. Contrary to the usual quantitative proxies of financial development, the quality of financial institutions is measured in this study as the relative ability of banks to intermediate funds. An improvement in bank efficiency spurs five times more regional growth then an identical increase in credit does. More credit provided by efficient banks exerts an independent growth effect in addition to direct quantity and quality channel effects.
Growth, Volatility, and Credit Market Imperfections: Evidence from German Firms
Journal of Economic Studies,
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, it studies whether output volatility and growth are linked at the firm-level, using data for German firms. Second, it explores whether the link between volatility and growth depends on the degree of credit market imperfections.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors use a novel firm-level dataset provided by the Deutsche Bundesbank, the so-called Financial Statements Data Pool. The dataset has time series observations for German firms for the period 1997-2004, and the authors use information on the debt-to-assets or leverage ratio of firms to proxy for credit-constraints at the firm-level. As additional proxies for the importance of credit market imperfections, we use information on the size and on the legal status of firms.
Findings – The authors find that higher volatility has a negative impact on growth for small and a positive impact for larger firms. Higher leverage is associated with higher growth. At the same time, there is heterogeneity in the determinants of growth across firms from different sectors and across firms with a different legal status.
Practical implications – While most traditional macroeconomic models assume that growth and volatility are uncorrelated, a number of microeconomic models suggest that the two may be linked. However, it is unclear whether the link is positive or negative. The paper presents additional evidence regarding this question. Moreover, understanding whether credit market conditions affect the link between volatility and growth is of importance for policy makers since it suggests a channel through which the credit market can have long-run welfare implications. The results stress the importance of firm-level heterogeneity for the effects and effectiveness of economic policy measures.
Originality/value – The paper has two main novel features. First, it uses a novel firm-level dataset to analyze the determinants of firm-level growth. Second, it analyzes the growth-volatility nexus using firm-level data. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first paper, which addresses the link between volatility, growth, and credit market imperfections using firm-level data.
Heterogeneity in Lending and Sectoral Growth: Evidence from German Bank-level Data
International Economics and Economic Policy,
This paper investigates whether heterogeneity across firms and banks matters for the impact of domestic sectoral growth on bank lending. We use several bank-level datasets provided by the Deutsche Bundesbank for the 1996–2002 period. Our results show that firm heterogeneity and bank heterogeneity affect how lending responds to domestic sectoral growth. We document that banks’ total lending to German firms reacts pro-cyclically to domestic sectoral growth, while lending exceeding a threshold of €1.5 million to German and foreign firms does not. Moreover, we document that the response of lending depends on bank characteristics such as the banking groups, the banks’ asset size, and the degree of sectoral specialization. We find that total domestic lending by savings banks and credit cooperatives (including their regional institutions), smaller banks, and banks that are highly specialized in specific sectors responds positively and, in relevant cases, more strongly to domestic sectoral growth.