Political Influence, Bank Capital, and Credit Allocation

S Huang, AV Thakor

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Political influence on bank credit allocation is often viewed as being necessary to address social problems like income inequality. We hypothesize that such influence elicits bank capital responses. Our hypothesis yields three testable predictions for which we find supporting evidence. First, when banks observe election outcomes that suggest greater impending political credit-allocation influence, they reduce capital to increase fragility and deter political influence. Second, banks subject to greater political influence nonetheless increase lending that politicians favor, and household consumption consequently increases. Third, these banks exhibit poorer post-lending performance. Our study has implications for the interaction between politics, household consumption, and bank risk through a specific channel—the interplay between credit-allocation regulation and bank capital structure.This paper was accepted by Victoria Ivashina, finance.Supplemental Material: The online appendix and data files are available at https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2022.04056 .
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalManagement Science
Early online date8 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Feb 2024


  • Bank regulation
  • Capital requirements
  • Politics

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A*
  • FT
  • SCIE
  • SSCI


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