Document Type

Article

Subject Area(s)

Business - Finance

Abstract

This paper examines the credit rationing debate using detailed contract information on over one million commercial bank loans from 1977 to 1988. While commercial loan rates are "Sticky," consistent with rationing, this stickiness varies with loan contract terms in ways that are not predicted by equilibrium credit rationing theory. In addition, the proportion of new loans issued under commitment does not increase significantly when credit markets are tight, despite the fact that borrowers without commitments can be rationed whereas commitment borrowers are contractually insulated from rationing. Overall, the data suggest that equilibrium rationing is not a significant macroeconomic phenomenon.

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