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Market Structure, Monitoring and Capital Adequacy Regulation

Thomas Gehrig

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), 1996, vol. 132, issue IV, 685-702

Abstract: The paper discusses effort-aversion moral hazard in banks. When the evaluation and monitoring of loans requires private management effort, monitoring efforts are sensitive to the intensity of competition in the credit market. Equilibrium loan rates incorporate an oligopoly premium and a provision for bad loans. While competition reduces the oligopoly premium it also reduces monitoring incentives. Therefore, in line with recent evidence from Switzerland, loan provisions increase under deregulation, leaving the overall effect on firms' cost of finance ambiguous. Capital adequacy regulation tends to increase effort-aversion moral hazard. Furthermore it is shown that capital standards may amplify business cycles and, counter-productively, increase systemic risk. The model suggests a certain degree of complementarity between prudential and structural regulation for the banking industry.

Date: 1996
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