Loanable Funds, Monitoring and Banking
Posted: 9 Jun 2002
This paper studies financial intermediation in a general equilibrium overlapping generations model. Indivisible investment projects combine with informational imperfections to create a (hidden action) moral hazard problem and introduce a role for third-party monitoring. Agency costs at the intermediary level are also considered. Under some conditions, monitors can be viewed as banks facing a non-trivial portfolio diversification problem. Equilibria are derived in which a large nationwide bank coexists with a number of community-regional banks, a structure of strong empirical relevance. Policies such as a mandatory reserve requirement are shown to have substantial effects on the levels of investment in the economy.
JEL Classification: E44, G21, G28
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