Is There an Optimal Size for the Financial Sector
The Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Paper No. 98-35B
32 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 1999
Date Written: February 1999
This paper derives the optimal size of the financial sector using a general equilibrium framework that is an extension of Holmstrom and Tirole's 1997 paper. We show that the financial sector has a unique optimal size relative to the size of the economy as a whole. Creating and maintaining this sector requires diversion of some physical capital from production of output to monitoring that production. However, the efficiency gain in output production brought about by monitoring warrants the diversion. It is also found that the optimal size of the financial sector is independent of the state of the economy and does not vary over the business cycle.
JEL Classification: E44, E42, E51, G2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation