The Effect of Monetary Tightening on Local Banks
41 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2008
Date Written: September 2008
This study shows that during Paul Volcker's drastic monetary tightening in the early 1980s, local banks operating in only one county reduced loan supply much more sharply than local subsidiaries of multi-county bank holding companies in similar markets, after controlling for bank (and holding company) size, liquidity, capital conditions, and, most important, local credit demand. The study allows cleaner identification by examining 18 U.S. "county-banking states" where a bank's local lending volume at the county level was observable because no one was allowed to branch across county borders. The local nature of lending allows us to approximate and control for the exogenous component of local loan demand using the prediction that counties with a higher share of manufacturing employment exhibit weaker loan demand during tightening (which is consistent with the interest rate channel and the balance-sheet channel of monetary policy transmission). The study sheds light on the working of the bank lending channel of monetary policy transmission.
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