Department of Economics
270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
Institutional Affiliation: Boston University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2018||Target setting and Allocative Inefficiency in Lending: Evidence from Two Chinese Banks|
with Raymond Fisman, Hui Lin, Yongxiang Wang: w24961
We study the consequences of month-end lending incentives for Chinese bank managers. Using data from two banks, one state-owned and the other partially privatized, we show a clear increase in lending in the final days of each month, a result of both more loan issuance and higher value per loan. We estimate that daily end-of-month lending is 95 percent higher in the last 5 days of each month as a result of loan targets, with only a small amount plausibly attributable to shifting loans forward from the following month. End-of-month loans are 2.1 percentage points (more than 16 percent) more likely to be classified as bad in the years following issuance; a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the incremental loans made in order to hit targets are 26 percent more likely to eventually...