Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

McNutt, Jamie

Second Advisor

Sharma, Subhash


The main objective of this dissertation is to provide insight into commercial bank decisionmaking in the United States. To this end, commercial bank behavior is explored in three separate essays. Chapter 1 examines the liquidity adjustment behavior of U.S. commercial banks from 1993-2006. A panel vector autoregressive framework is employed to estimate the dynamic responses of bank loans and liquid assets to a variety of bank funding shocks. Orthogonalized impulse responses reveal that banks respond to disruptions in funding by extending less credit and hoarding liquid assets. This paper also highlights functional differences between small and large banks. Large banks generally have access to capital markets and other external funding sources; small banks do not. As a result, small banks are more sensitive to funding disruptions. Balance sheet liquidity is also vitally important for small banks. Small, liquid banks are able to continue lending in response to disruptions in core deposits while illiquid banks are forced to cut lending. Chapter 2 investigates the effects of bank mergers on deposit growth over the period 1994- 2005. The present study differentiates between mergers initiated by small and large banks. We find empirical evidence of deposit runoff to go along with the anecdotal evidence known to the banking community. Contrary to expectation, mergers initiated by large commercial banks are able maintain their deposit levels while mergers between small banks generally lose deposit funding. Chapter 3 analyzes the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on key segments of the mortgage market. Error correction models of the residential real estate loan share and the non-jumbo loan share indicate that the Dodd-Frank Act coincided with a dramatic decline in both loan share measures. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act had a negative, long-run effect on the non-jumbo loan share for large commercial banks; reducing the non-jumbo loan share by 15.13%. Moreover, the residential real estate share declined by 8.79%. These findings are consistent with commercial banks re-allocating their loan portfolios in favor of high dollar C&I loans, commercial real estate loans, and jumbo mortgages in response to the increased fixed compliance costs of originating loans under the Dodd-Frank Act.




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