We exploit a variation in organizational hierarchy induced by a reorganization plan implemented in roughly 2,000 bank branches in India. We do so to investigate how organizational hierarchy affects the allocation of credit. We find that increased hierarchization of a branch induces credit rationing, reduces loan performance, and generates standardization in loan contracts. Additionally, we find that hierarchical structures perform better in environments characterized by a high degree of corruption, highlighting the benefits of hierarchies in restraining rent-seeking activities. Overall, our results are consistent with the view that valuable information may be lost in hierarchical structures. Received May 4, 2018; editorial decision April 30, 2018 by Editor Itay Goldstein. Authors have furnished an Internet Appendix, which is available on the Oxford University Press Web site next to the link to the final published paper online.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics