Economic Uncertainty and Bank Lending

Publication Name

Journal of Money, Credit and Banking


This paper shows that economic uncertainty proxied by the variance risk premium (VRP) has an important explanatory power for bank credit supply and demand. Higher VRP exerts a negative influence on both loan demand and supply, increases loan spreads, reduces loan size and maturity, and increases the proportion of collateralized loans. These effects are substantive in the syndicated loan market and are worse off during economic recessions. Upon isolating the effect of uncertainty on bank credit supply from loan demand, we find that VRP dominates credit supply, which suggests that bank credit shortages can potentially aggravate economic downturn during recessions.

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