Unintended Consequences of Unemployment Insurance Benefits: The Role of Banks
Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper No. 19-44
69 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2018 Last revised: 11 Jun 2021
Date Written: November 7, 2018
We use disaggregated U.S. data and a border discontinuity design to show that more generous unemployment insurance (UI) policies lower bank deposits. We test several channels that could explain this decline and find evidence consistent with households lowering their precautionary savings. Since deposits are the largest and most stable source of funding for banks, the decrease in deposits affects bank lending. Banks that raise deposits in states with generous UI policies squeeze their small business lending. Furthermore, counties that are served by these banks experience a higher unemployment rate and lower wage growth.
Keywords: Bank funding, Bank lending, Precautionary saving, Unemployment Insurance
JEL Classification: G21, J65, D14, J20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation