Abstract: We develop a simple model of relationship lending where lenders have incentives for evergreening loans by offering better terms to less productive and more indebted firms. We detect such lending behavior using loan-level supervisory data for the United States. Low-capitalized banks systematically distort firms’ risk assessments to window-dress their balance sheets. To avoid further reductions in their capital ratios, such banks extend relatively more credit to underreported borrowers. We incorporate the theoretical mechanism into a dynamic heterogeneous-firm model to show that evergreening affects aggregate outcomes, resulting in lower interest rates, higher levels of debt, and lower productivity.
File format is application/pdf
Description: Full text - article PDF
Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Part of Series: Working Paper Series
Publication Date: 2022-07-31
Note: First version: October 2021