The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The stickiness of bank lending rates with respect to money market rates is often regarded as an obstacle to the smooth transmission of monetary policy impulses. Yet, no systematic measure of the different degree of lending rate stickiness across countries has been attempted. This paper provides such a measure. It also relates the different degree of lending rate stickiness to structural features of the financial system, such as the existence of barriers to competition, the degree of development of financial markets, and the ownership structure of the banking system. Thus, the paper provides further evidence on the relationship between structural financial policies and monetary policy, as well as on the relevance of credit markets for the monetary policy transmission mechanism. The role of administered discount rates in speeding up the. adjustment of lending rates is also discussed.