Using high-frequency interest rate shocks, we find that falling rates in a low-interest rate environment favor industry leaders. A fall in interest rates near the zero lower bound leads to a stronger decline in the borrowing rate for industry leaders, who also borrow more, invest more aggressively, and acquire assets at a faster pace. This advantage from falling rates enjoyed by industry leaders diminishes in a higher-rate environment. We estimate a “competition-neutral” nominal federal funds rate of about four percentage points, a level at which industry leaders and followers are impacted equally from an interest rate change.
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