Staff Working Paper No. 1,057
By Arthur Taburet, Alberto Polo and Quynh-Anh Vo
When lenders screen borrowers using a menu of contracts, they generate a contractual externality by making the composition of their competitors’ borrowers worse. Using data from the UK mortgage market and a structural model of screening with endogenous menus, this paper quantifies the impact of asymmetric information on equilibrium contracts and welfare. Counterfactual simulations show that, because of the externality, there is too much screening along the loan to value dimension. The deadweight loss, expressed in borrowers’ utility, is equivalent to an interest rate increase of 30 basis points (a 15% increase) on all loans.