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  • P-ISSN 1738-656X

한국개발연구. Vol. 14, No. 1, April 1992, pp. 89-119

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Economic Rationale of Compensating Balance Requirements and Its Impact on Money Supply (Written in Korean)


Author & Article History

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This paper purports to analyze the economic rationale of compensating balance requirements and its impact on money supply. This practice has recently been severely criticized for artificially increasing the money supply and, therefore, limiting the nation's aggregate lending policy under the tight constraint of the given money supply target. A review of the existing literature implies that compensating balance requirements is a banking practice which leads to corrections in the distortion of financial resource allocation due to the imperfection of financial market stemming from asymmetric information and/or financial regulations on deposit and lending rates. Therefore, the economic rationale of this practice is deemed to improve the efficiency of financial resource allocation. On the other hand, the macroeconomic impact of compensating balance requirements on the money supply depends on the impact on the money multiplier, which in turn depends on the desired ratio of deposit that people wish to maintain on the money borrowed from the banking system, and on the desired reserve ratio that the banking system would like to hold for deposit withdrawal. If the compensating balance requirements could increase the desired ratio of deposit to borrowing (bank lending), it will increase the available amount of total reserve within the banking system and, in turn, the money multiplier. However, this channel has not been fully analyzed in the literature, and the direction of the effect is ambiguous. If the practice could reduce the tum-over rate of deposit and, thereby, reduce the desired reserve ratio of the banking system, then it will also increase the money multiplier. While this channel operates unambiguously toward increasing the money multiplier, this effect will be limited by the extent that the banking system holds the excess reserve over the required reserve because the excess reserve will set the maximum amount for the desired reserve to fall. This paper tries to determine the effect on the money supply by empirically estimating the multiplier and the desired ratio of deposit to lending equations as functions of the ratio of compensating balance to the related lending, which is not observable and is estimated for the regression purpose. The results suggest that the effect of n compensating balance requirements on the money supply in Korea does not exist or is very tenuous even if it could operate. Therefore, this paper concludes that the well- publicized policy of cross cancelling the compensating balance and the related lending will not be effective at controlling the money supply and increasing the amount of loans without expanding the money supply.

JEL Code

E43, G18

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