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Bailouts, time inconsistency, and optimal regulation

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  • V.V. Chari
  • Patrick J. Kehoe
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    Abstract

    We develop a model in which, in order to provide managerial incentives, it is optimal to have costly bankruptcy. If benevolent governments can commit to their policies, it is optimal not to interfere with private contracts. Such policies are time inconsistent in the sense that, without commitment, governments have incentives to bail out firms by buying up the debt of distressed firms and renegotiating their contracts with managers. From an ex ante perspective, however, such bailouts are costly because they worsen incentives and thereby reduce welfare. We show that regulation in the form of limits on the debt-to-value ratio of firms mitigates the time-inconsistency problem by eliminating the incentives of governments to undertake bailouts. In terms of the cyclical properties of regulation, we show that regulation should be tightest in ag-gregate states in which resources lost to bankruptcy in the equilibrium without a government are largest.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 481.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:481

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    Keywords: Regulation;

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    1. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
    2. Emmanuel Farhi & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2009. "A Theory of Liquidity and Regulation of Financial Intermediation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 973-992.
    3. Acharya, Viral V & Yorulmazer, Tanju, 2004. "Too Many to Fail - An Analysis of Time Inconsistency in Bank Closure Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4778, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Farhi, Emmanuel & Tirole, Jean, 2009. "Collective Moral Hazard, Maturity Mismatch and Systemic Bailouts," TSE Working Papers 09-052, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Oct 2010.
    5. Bianchi, Javier, 2009. "Overborrowing and Systemic Externalities in the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 16270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Moral Hazard and Renegotiation in Agency Contracts," Working papers 494, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    7. Huberto M. Ennis & Todd Keister, 2007. "Bank runs and institutions : the perils of intervention," Working Paper 07-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    8. Enrique Mendoza & Javier Bianchi, 2010. "Overborrowing, financial crises and ‘macro-prudential’ taxes," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
    9. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
    10. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, Ivan, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415, May.
    11. George J. Mailath & Loretta J. Mester, 1993. "A positive analysis of bank closure," Working Papers 94-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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    Cited by:
    1. de la Torre, Augusto & Ize, Alain, 2013. "The foundations of macroprudential regulation : a conceptual roadmap," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6575, The World Bank.
    2. de la Torre, Augusto & Ize, Alain, 2013. "The rhyme and reason for macroprudential policy : four guideposts to find your bearings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6576, The World Bank.
    3. Reis, Ricardo, 2013. "Central Bank Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 9567, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Marius A. Zoican & Lucyna A. Górnycka, 2013. "Banking Unions: Distorted Incentives and Efficient Bank Resolution," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-184/VI, Tinbergen Institute.

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