(Interstate) banking and (interstate) trade: Does real integration follow financial integration?


Journal of Financial Economics

avril 2012, vol. 104, n°1, pp.89-117

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS), Finance

Mots clés : Trade; Banking deregulation; Finance'growth nexus

We examine whether financial sector integration leads to real sector integration through trade. Our conjecture is that financial sector integration between two regions leads to higher trade flows between them. In our stylized model, this happens because banks with presence in the two regions are better able to assess risks and charge the appropriate premiums for trade-related projects pertinent for the two markets; whereas the same banks charge higher average interest rates for projects that involve trade to other markets from which they are absent. We use the deregulation of the inter-state banking in the U.S. as a natural experiment to test the implication of our theory model with the state-level Commodity Flow Survey data. Our empirical evidence, based on difference-in-difference and GMM2S-IV estimates, indicates that there is a trade channel associated with the finance-growth nexus: the trade share of state-pairs that have opened their banking market to each other's financial institutions increases by 9.2% relative to the trade shares of state-pairs that did not. Looking at actual entry data, we estimate that bank entry within a trading pair increases trade in this pair by 54% relative to those that do not have such a bank link. This is probably the lower bound estimate for international trade barriers stemming from the lack of a unified banking system.