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Asymmetric Information and Bank Runs

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  • Gu, Chao

    (U of Missouri, Columbia)

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Abstract

It is known that sunspots can trigger panic-based bank runs and that the optimal banking contract can tolerate panic-based runs. The existing literature assumes that these sunspots are based on a publicly observed extrinsic randomizing device. In this paper, I extend the analysis of panic-based runs to include an asymmetric-information, extrinsic randomizing device. Depositors observe different, but correlated, signals on the stability of the bank. I find that if the signals that depositors obtain are highly correlated, there exists a correlated equilibrium for some demand deposit contracts. In this equilibrium, either a full bank run, or a partial bank run, or non bank run occurs depending on the realization of the signals. Computed examples indicate that in some economies, a demand-deposit contract that tolerates bank runs and partial bank runs is optimal; while in some other economies a run-proof contract is optimal.

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Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 07-14.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:07-14

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  1. Bryant, John, 1980. "A model of reserves, bank runs, and deposit insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-344, December.
  2. Charles W. Calomiris & Gary Gorton, 1991. "The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts, and Bank Regulation," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets and Financial Crises, pages 109-174 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John H. Boyd & Pedro Gomis-Porqueras & Sungkyu Kwak & Bruce David Smith, 2014. "A User's Guide to Banking Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 800-892, November.
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  13. Ennis, Huberto M. & Keister, Todd, 2006. "Bank runs and investment decisions revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 217-232, March.
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  16. Postlewaite, Andrew & Vives, Xavier, 1987. "Bank Runs as an Equilibrium Phenomenon," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 485-91, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Todd Keister & Huberto M. Ennis, 2007. "Commitment and Equilibrium Bank Runs," 2007 Meeting Papers 509, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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