The Real Effects of Bank Capital Requirements
43 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2013 Last revised: 18 Sep 2015
Date Written: August 27, 2015
We measure the impact of bank capital requirements on corporate borrowing and investment using loan-level data. The Basel II regulatory framework makes capital requirements vary across both banks and across firms, which allows us to control for firm-level credit demand shocks and bank-level credit supply shocks. We find that a 1 percentage point increase in capital requirements reduces lending by 10%. Firms can attenuate this reduction by substituting borrowing across banks, but only partially. The resulting reduction in borrowing capacity impacts investment, but not working capital: Fixed assets are reduced by 2.6%, but lending to customers is unaffected.
Keywords: Bank capital ratios, Bank regulation, Credit supply
JEL Classification: E51, G21, G28
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