Does function follow organizational form? Evidence from the lending practices of large and small banks

Allen N. Berger, Nathan H. Miller, Mitchell A. Petersen, Raghuram G. Rajan, Jeremy C. Stein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

638 Scopus citations

Abstract

Theories based on incomplete contracting suggest that small organizations have a comparative advantage in activities that make extensive use of "soft" information. We provide evidence consistent with small banks being better able to collect and act on soft information than large banks. In particular, large banks are less willing to lend to informationally "difficult" credits, such as firms with no financial records. Moreover, after controlling for the endogeneity of bank-firm matching, we find that large banks lend at a greater distance, interact more impersonally with their borrowers, have shorter and less exclusive relationships, and do not alleviate credit constraints as effectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-269
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Volume76
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2005

Keywords

  • Banking
  • Organizations
  • Soft information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management

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