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Author:Cortes, Kristle Romero 

Working Paper
Clouded Judgment: The Role of Sentiment in Credit Origination

Using daily fluctuations in local sunshine as an instrument for sentiment, we study its effect on day-today decisions of lower-level financial officers. Positive sentiment is associated with higher credit approvals, and negative sentiment has the opposite effect of a larger magnitude. These effects are stronger when financial decisions require more discretion, when reviews are less automated, and when capital constraints are less binding. The variation in approval rates affects ex-post financial performance and produces significant real effects. Our analysis of the economic channels suggests ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1601

Working Paper
The Unintended Consequences of Employer Credit Check Bans for Labor Markets

Over the last decade, 11 states have restricted employers? access to the credit reports of job applicants. We document a significant decline in county-level vacancies after these laws were enacted: Job postings fall by 5.5 percent in affected occupations relative to exempt occupations in the same county and the same occupation nationwide. Cross-sectional heterogeneity in the estimated effects suggests that employers use credit reports as signals: Vacancies fall more in counties with a large share of subprime residents, while they fall less in occupations with other commonly available signals.
Working Papers , Paper 201905

Journal Article
Does the CDFI Fund Help Low-Income Borrowers?

The Treasury Department's CDFI Fund awards grants to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that operate in low-income areas. Awards are intended to strengthen the institutions and increase the amount they lend to borrowers in those areas. This analysis of proprietary data from the US Treasury shows that when CDFIs receive grant money, they put it to use as additional loans in impoverished and economically weak areas.
Economic Commentary , Issue Jul

Working Paper
Did local lenders forecast the bust? Evidence from the real estate market

This paper shows that mortgage lenders with a physical branch near the property being financed have better information about home-price fundamentals than nonlocal lenders. During the real estate run-up from 2002-06, home price growth negatively correlates with the share of loans made by local lenders, namely lenders with a branch in the respective county. Moreover, home prices fell less from 2006-09 in areas where more of the loans were made by local lenders. California foreclosure rates during the crisis are negatively correlated with local lending during the run-up. A 1 standard deviation ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1226

Journal Article
How Small Banks Deal with Large Shocks

After a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, or flood, banks in the affected area experience a sharp rise in the demand for loans as property owners look to repair the damage. Recent research has focused on such events to study how small community banks adjust their typical way of doing business to respond to large shocks. The research finds that banks strategically adjust their business in three ways to meet the increased demand for capital. Two adjustments increase the funds available for lending, while one shifts lending from areas unaffected by the disaster to the affected area, ...
Economic Commentary , Issue May

Journal Article
The Role Bank Branches Play in a Mobile Age

Economic Commentary , Volume 2015 , Issue 14 , Pages 6

Working Paper
Rebuilding after Disaster Strikes: How Local Lenders Aid in the Recovery

Using detailed employment data on firm age and size, I show that the presence of local finance improves job retention and creation at young and small firms. I use natural disasters and regulatory guidance to disentangle the effects of credit supply and demand. I find that an additional standard deviation of local finance offsets the negative effects of the disaster and can lead to 1 to 2% higher employment growth at either young or small firms. Banks increase lending but are not borrowing against future lending, nor do they experience changes in default rates. These findings suggest that ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1428

Working Paper
Stress Tests and Small Business Lending

Post-crisis stress tests have altered banks? credit supply to small business. Banks affected by stress tests reduce credit supply and raise interest rates on small business loans. Banks price the implied increase in capital requirements from stress tests where they have local knowledge, and exit markets where they do not, as quantities fall most in markets where stress-tested banks do not own branches near borrowers, and prices rise mainly where they do. These reductions in supply are concentrated among risky borrowers. Stress tests do not, however, reduce aggregate credit. Small banks ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1802

Working Paper
Tracing Out Capital Flows: How Financially Integrated Banks Respond to Natural Disasters

Multi-market banks reallocate capital when local credit demand increases after natural disasters. Following such events, credit in unaffected but connected markets declines by about 50 cents per dollar of additional lending in shocked areas, but most of the decline comes from loans in areas where banks do not own branches. Moreover, banks increase sales of more-liquid loans in order to lessen the impact of the demand shock on credit supply. Larger, multi-market banks appear better able than smaller ones to shield credit supplied to their core markets (those with branches) by aggressively ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1412

Working Paper
The Unintended Consequences of Employer Credit Check Bans on Labor and Credit Markets

Since the Great Recession, 11 states have restricted employers? access to the credit reports of job applicants. We document that county-level vacancies decline between 9.5 percent and 12.4 percent after states enact these laws. Vacancies decline significantly in affected occupations but remain constant in those that are exempt, and the decline is larger in counties with many subprime residents. Furthermore, subprime borrowers fall behind on more debt payments and reduce credit inquiries postban. The evidence suggests that, counter to their intent, employer credit check bans disrupt labor and ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1625

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