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Information technology and banking organization

  • Communication


We investigate the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on local loan officersÂ’ autonomy in small business lending. We derive a simple agency model of the interaction between a local branch manager and the headquarters, which yields an estimable equation for the optimal delegation of authority. Using a unique and specifically tailored dataset including about 300 Italian banks, we show that banks equipped with more ICT capital and resorting to credit scoring delegate more decision-making power to their local branch managers. These results are robust to many additional controls, including instrumental variable estimation. The effects on decentralization are strengthened for those banks that jointly hold higher ICT capital endowments and adopt credit scoring.

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