Bio

Jason Allen is a Senior Research Officer in the Economic and Financial Research Department at the Bank of Canada. He is an applied microeconomist whose primary research interests center on the household sector and the role that competition in retail banking plays in shaping credit outcomes. Specific topics include price competition in the mortgage market and bankruptcy choice. Jason Allen received his PhD in economics from Queen’s University.


Show all

Staff discussion papers

A Note on Contestability in the Canadian Banking Industry

Staff Discussion Paper 2007-7 Jason Allen, Ying Liu
The authors examine the degree of contestability in the Canadian banking system using the H-statistic proposed by Panzar and Rosse (1987) and modified by Bikker, Spierdijk, and Finnie (2006). A modification is necessary because the standard approach of controlling for size using total assets leads to an upward bias in the H-statistic. The authors propose […]
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff discussion papers Topic(s): Financial institutions JEL Code(s): G, G2, G21, L, L1, L11

See More

Staff working papers

Dynamic Competition in Negotiated Price Markets

Staff Working Paper 2020-22 Jason Allen, Shaoteng Li
Repeated interactions between borrowers and lenders create the possibility of dynamic pricing: lenders compete aggressively with low prices to attract new borrowers and then raise their prices once borrowers have made a commitment. We find such pricing patterns in the Canadian mortgage market.

The Impact of Macroprudential Housing Finance Tools in Canada: 2005–10

Staff Working Paper 2016-41 Jason Allen, Timothy Grieder, Brian Peterson, Tom Roberts
This paper combines loan-level administrative data with household-level survey data to analyze the impact of recent macroprudential policy changes in Canada using a microsimulation model of mortgage demand of first-time homebuyers.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Financial system regulation and policies JEL Code(s): C, C6, C63, D, D1, D14, G, G2, G28

The Impact of Bankruptcy Reform on Insolvency Choice and Consumer Credit

Staff Working Paper 2016-26 Jason Allen, Kiana Basiri
We examine the impact of the 2009 amendments to the Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act on insolvency decisions. Rule changes steered debtors out of division I proposals and into the more cost-effective division II proposals.

Capital Structure, Pay Structure and Job Termination

Staff Working Paper 2016-12 Jason Allen, James R. Thompson
We develop a model to analyze the link between financial leverage, worker pay structure and the risk of job termination. Contrary to the conventional view, we show that even in the absence of any agency problem among workers, variable pay can be optimal despite workers being risk averse and firms risk neutral.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Financial institutions, Labour markets JEL Code(s): G, G2, G24, J, J3, J33

Price Negotiation in Differentiated Products Markets: Evidence from the Canadian Mortgage Market

Staff Working Paper 2012-30 Jason Allen, Robert Clark, Jean-François Houde
This paper measures market power in a decentralized market where contracts are determined through a search and negotiation process. The mortgage industry has many institutional features which suggest competitiveness: homogeneous contracts, negotiable rates, and, for a given consumer, common lending costs across lenders.

Efficiency and Bargaining Power in the Interbank Loan Market

Staff Working Paper 2012-29 Jason Allen, James Chapman, Federico Echenique, Matthew Shum
Using detailed loan transactions-level data we examine the efficiency of an overnight interbank lending market, and the bargaining power of its participants. Our analysis relies on the equilibrium concept of the core, which imposes a set of no-arbitrage conditions on trades in the market.

Consumer Bankruptcy and Information

Staff Working Paper 2012-18 Jason Allen, H. Evren Damar, David Martinez-Miera
We analyze the relationship between the intensity of banks’ use of soft-information and household bankruptcy patterns. Using a unique data set on the universe of Canadian household bankruptcies, we document that bankruptcy rates are higher in markets where the collection of soft, or qualitative locally gathered information, is the weakest.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Financial institutions, Financial services JEL Code(s): D, D4, G, G2

Price Competition and Concentration in Search and Negotiation Markets: Evidence from Mortgage Lending

Staff Working Paper 2012-4 Jason Allen, Robert Clark, Jean-François Houde
This paper examines the impact of bank consolidation on mortgage rates in order to evaluate the extent to which mortgage markets are competitive. Mortgage markets are decentralized and so rates are determined through a search and negotiation process.

See More


Bank publications

Bank of Canada Review articles

February 21, 2013

Conference Summary: Financial Intermediation and Vulnerabilities

The Bank of Canada’s annual economic conference, held in October 2012, brought together experts from across Canada and around the world to discuss key issues concerning financial intermediation and vulnerabilities. The conference covered such topics as household finances and their relationship to financial stability, as well as bank regulation, securitization and shadow banking.
February 23, 2012

Household Insolvency in Canada

With increasing levels of household debt in recent years, the number of households that may be vulnerable to a negative economic shock is rising as well. Decisions made by both the debtor and the creditor can contribute to insolvency. This article presents some stylized facts about insolvency in Canada’s household sector and analyzes the role of creditors in insolvencies. The average debt of an individual filing for bankruptcy is more than 1.5 times that of an average Canadian household; bankruptcy filers tend to be unemployed or in low-wage jobs, and are typically renters. The article reports that banks that approve more loans per branch, which is interpreted as less-intensive use of soft information (such as the loan officer’s assessment of the applicant’s character), experience more client bankruptcies. This finding has important policy implications, because financial institutions that do not use soft information risk further deterioration in their lending portfolios.
February 17, 2011

Competition in the Canadian Mortgage Market

This article begins with a brief examination of the Canadian mortgage market, focusing on the market’s evolution following changes to the Bank Act in 1992, which allowed chartered banks to enter the trust business, and the subsequent entrance of virtual banks and mortgage brokers.
June 14, 2007

Efficiency and Competition in Canadian Banking

Allen and Engert report on recent research at the Bank of Canada on various aspects of efficiency in the Canadian banking industry. This research suggests that, overall, Canadian banks appear to be relatively efficient producers of financial services and they do not exercise monopoly or collusive-oligopoly power. The authors note the value of continuing to investigate opportunities to improve efficiency and competition in financial services in Canada.

See More


Journal publications

Refereed journals

Other

Work in progress

  • “The role of intermediaries in selection markets: Evidence from mortgage lending”
    (with Robert Clark, Jean-Francois Houde and Anna Trubnikova)
  • “Resolving failed banks: uncertainty, multiple bidding & auction design”
    (with Robert Clark, Brent Hickman, Eric Richert), R&R at Review of Economic Studies
  • “Identifying dependencies in the demand for government securities”
    (with Jakub Kastl and Milena Wittwer)
  • "Macroprudential Housing Policies and Borrowing Constraints"
    (with Robert Clark and Jean-Francois Houde).