João Granja

Booth School of Business
University of Chicago
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637-1610

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2020Did the Paycheck Protection Program Hit the Target?
with Christos Makridis, Constantine Yannelis, Eric Zwick: w27095
This paper takes an early look at the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a large and novel small business support program that was part of the initial policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We use new data on the distribution of the first round of PPP loans and high-frequency micro-level employment data to consider two dimensions of program targeting. First, we do not find evidence that funds flowed to areas more adversely affected by the economic effects of the pandemic, as measured by declines in hours worked or business shutdowns. If anything, funds flowed to areas less hard hit. Second, we find significant heterogeneity across banks in terms of disbursing PPP funds, which does not only reflect differences in underlying loan demand. The top-4 banks alone account for 36% of total pre-...
October 2018Going the Extra Mile: Distant Lending and Credit Cycles
with Christian Leuz, Raghuram Rajan: w25196
We examine how competition amongst lenders exacerbates risk taking during a boom using a simple proxy for the risk of a bank’s loan portfolio—the average physical distance of borrowers from banks’ branches. The evolution of lending distances is cyclical, lengthening considerably during an economic upturn and shortening again during the ensuing downturn. More distant small business loans are indeed riskier for the bank, and greater lending distance is reflective of more generalized bank risk taking. As competition in banks’ local lending markets increases, their local lending becomes riskier, and their propensity to make (risky) loans at greater distance increases.
December 2017The Death of a Regulator: Strict Supervision, Bank Lending and Business Activity
with Christian Leuz: w24168
An important question in banking is how strict supervision affects bank lending and in turn local business activity. Supervisors forcing banks to recognize losses could choke off lending and amplify local economic woes. But stricter supervision could also change how banks assess and manage loans. Estimating such effects is challenging. We exploit the extinction of the thrift regulator (OTS) to analyze economic links between strict supervision, bank lending and business activity. We first show that the OTS replacement indeed resulted in stricter supervision of former OTS banks. Next, we analyze the ensuing lending effects. We show that former OTS banks increase small business lending by roughly 10 percent. This increase is concentrated in well-capitalized banks, those more affected by the n...
August 2014Selling Failed Banks
with Gregor Matvos, Amit Seru: w20410
We study the recent episode of bank failures and provide simple facts to better understand who acquires failed banks and which forces drive the losses that the FDIC realizes from these sales. We document three distinct forces related to the allocation of failed banks to potential acquirers. First, a geographically proximate bank is significantly more likely to acquire a failed bank: only 15% of acquirers do not have branches within the state. Sales are more local in regions with more soft information. Second, a failed bank is more likely to be purchased by a bank that has a similar loan portfolio and that offers similar services, highlighting the role of failed banks' asset specificity. Third, low capitalization of potential acquirers decreases their ability to acquire a failed bank and po...

Published: JOÃO GRANJA & GREGOR MATVOS & AMIT SERU, 2017. "Selling Failed Banks," The Journal of Finance, vol 72(4), pages 1723-1784. citation courtesy of

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us