Several countries have recently introduced national capital standards exceeding the internationally coordinated Basel III rules, thus suggesting a ‘race to the top’ in capital standards. We study regulatory competition when banks are heterogeneous and give loans to firms that produce output in an integrated market. In this setting capital requirements change the pool quality of banks in each country and inflict negative externalities on neighboring jurisdictions by shifting risks to foreign taxpayers and by reducing total credit supply and output. Non-cooperatively set capital standards are higher than coordinated ones when governments care equally about bank profits, taxpayers, and consumers.
regulatory competition capital requirements bank heterogeneity