Bank capital regulations are intended to enhance financial stability in the long run, but may, in the meanwhile, involve costs for the real economy. To examine these costs we propose a narrative index of aggregate tightenings in regulatory US bank capital requirements from 1979 to 2008. Anticipation effects are explicitly taken into account and found to matter. In response to a tightening in capital requirements, banks temporarily reduce business and real estate lending, which temporarily lowers investment, consumption, housing activity and production. A decline in financial and macroeconomic risk helps sustain spending in the medium run. Monetary policy also cushions negative effects of capital requirement tightenings on the economy.
Narrative Approach Bank Capital Requirements Local Projections