This paper studies the role that market structure plays in affecting the diffusion of electronic banking. Electronic banking (and electronic commerce more generally) reduces the cost of performing many types of transactions for firms. The full benefits for firms from adoption, however, only accrue once consumers begin to perform a significant share of their transactions online. Since there are learning costs to adopting the new technology firms may try to encourage consumers to go online...
The generation and implementation of ideas, or knowledge, is crucial for economic performance. We study this process in a model of endogenous growth with frictions. Productivity increases with knowledge, which advances via innovation, and with the exchange of ideas from those who generate them to those best able to implement them (technology transfer). But frictions in this market, including search, bargaining, and commitment problems, impede exchange and thus slow growth. We characterize optimal policies to...
Are unregulated capital flows excessive during a stagflation episode? We argue that they likely are, owing to a macroeconomic externality operating through the economy’s supply side. Inflows raise domestic wages through a wealth effect on labor supply and cause unwelcome upward pressure on marginal costs in countries where monetary policy is trying to drive down costs to stabilize inflation. Yet market forces are likely to generate such inflows. Optimal capital flow management instead requires net...
This paper studies discounting in mortgage markets. Using transaction-level data on Canadian mortgages, we document that over time there's been an increase in the average discount, along with substantial dispersion. The standard explanation for dispersion in credit markets is that lenders engage in risk-based pricing. Our setting is unique since contracts are guaranteed by government-backed insurance, meaning risk cannot be the main driver of dispersion. We find that mortgage rates depend on individual, contractual, and...
We study economies where firms acquire capital in primary markets then retrade it in secondary markets after information on idiosyncratic productivity arrives. Our secondary markets incorporate bilateral trade with search, bargaining and liquidity frictions. We distinguish between full and partial sales (one firm gets all or some of the other’s capital). Both exhibit interesting long- and short-run patterns in data that the model can match. Depending on monetary and credit conditions, more partial sales occur...
Price Competition and Concentration in Search and Negotiation Markets: Evidence from Mortgage LendingJason Allen, Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde
This paper examines the impact of bank consolidation on mortgage rates in order to evaluate the extent to which mortgage markets are competitive. Mortgage markets are decentralized and so rates are determined through a search and negotiation process. The primary effect of a merger therefore is to reduce the number of partners available with whom to negotiate, although it can also change the characteristics of the product, and impact the search effort of consumers. Using...
University of Wisconsin–Madison6
Bank of Canada6
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis2
École des Hautes Études Commerciales1
Center for Economic and Policy Research1
University College London1
Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organizations1
National Bureau of Economic Research1