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Contagious Bank Runs: Experimental Evidence

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  • Martin Brown
  • Stefan Trautmann
  • Razvan Vlahu

Abstract

We conduct a laboratory experiment to examine under which circumstances a depositor-run at one bank may lead to a depositor-run at another bank. We implement two-person coordination games which capture the essence of the Diamond-Dybvig (1983) bank-run model. Subjects in the roles of followers observe the deposit withdrawal decisions of leaders before they make their own deposit withdrawal decisions. In one treatment followers know that there are no economic linkages between the leaders' and the followers' banks. In a second treatment followers know that there are economic linkages between the leaders' and the followers' banks. Our results suggest that deposit withdrawals are strongly contagious across banks only when depositors know that there are economic linkages between banks. The contagion of withdrawals is by a change in beliefs about bank asset quality and in beliefs about the behavior of other depositors, with the latter channel being more pronounced. Our results reconcile panic-based and information-based explanations of bank runs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 363.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:363

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Keywords: Contagion; Bank runs; Systemic risk;

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Cited by:
  1. Kiss, Hubert Janos & Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael & Rosa-García, Alfonso, 2014. "Do Women Panic More Than Men? An Experimental Study on Financial Decision," MPRA Paper 52912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Brown, Martin & Guin, Benjamin & Morkoetter, Stefan, 2013. "Switching Costs, Deposit Insurance and Deposit Withdrawals from Distressed Banks," Working Papers on Finance 1319, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
  3. Hubert Janos Kiss & Ismael Rodriguez-Lara & Alfonso Rosa-Garcia, 2013. "Do Social Networks Prevent or Promote Bank Runs?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1344, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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