Did BOJ's Negative Interest Rate Policy Increase Bank Lending?

Author Name GUNJI Hiroshi (Daito Bunka University)
Creation Date/NO. December 2018 18-E-086
Research Project Study Group on Corporate Finance and Firm Dynamics
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We investigate the effects of the negative interest rate policy (NIRP) in Japan on bank lending using regression discontinuity design (RDD). On January 29, 2016, the Bank of Japan announced the beginning of the NIRP from February 16, 2016. Since the financial market did not anticipate this policy, we use the event as a natural experiment. For a few months, starting from February 2016, a negative interest rate was levied on banks that held reserves exceeding the average monthly reserves of 2015. This allows us to employ RDD. The results suggest the average treatment effect on the banks to which a negative interest was levied was approximately -1.5% to -3.5%. In other words, the loan rates of banks to which negative interest rates were levied declined compared to those of the banks that were not subject to NIRP.