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Bailouts, Time Inconsistency, and Optimal Regulation

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  • V.V. Chari
  • Patrick J. Kehoe

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 aggregate states in which resources lost to bankruptcy in the equilibrium without a government are largest.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19192.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19192

Note: EFG IFM ME PE POL
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References

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  1. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Gertler, Mark & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Queralto, Albert, 2012. "Financial crises, bank risk exposure and government financial policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages S17-S34.
  3. Bianchi, Javier, 2009. "Overborrowing and Systemic Externalities in the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 16270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Acharya, Viral V. & Yorulmazer, Tanju, 2007. "Too many to fail--An analysis of time-inconsistency in bank closure policies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-31, January.
  5. 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.
  6. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  7. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "The First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1357-67, November.
  8. Emmanuel Farhi & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "A Theory of Liquidity and Regulation of Financial Intermediation," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000326, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Moral Hazard and Renegotiation in Agency Contracts," Working papers 494, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Huberto M. Ennis & Todd Keister, 2009. "Bank Runs and Institutions: The Perils of Intervention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1588-1607, September.
  12. George J. Mailath & Loretta J. Mester, 1993. "A positive analysis of bank closure," Working Papers 94-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  13. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  14. Javier Bianchi & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Overborrowing, Financial Crises and 'Macro-prudential' Taxes," NBER Working Papers 16091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, Ivan, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Ricardo Reis, 2013. "Central Bank Design," NBER Working Papers 19187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gertler, Mark & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Queralto, Albert, 2012. "Financial crises, bank risk exposure and government financial policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 59(S), pages S17-S34.
  3. Marius A. Zoican & Lucyna A. Górnycka, 2013. "Banking Unions: Distorted Incentives and Efficient Bank Resolution," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-184/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. 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.
  5. Farhi, Emmanuel & Tirole, Jean, 2009. "Collective Moral Hazard, Maturity Mismatch and Systemic Bailouts," IDEI Working Papers 571, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Oct 2010.
  6. Tressel, Thierry & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "Optimal Prudential Regulation of Banks and the Political Economy of Supervision," CEPR Discussion Papers 9871, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. de la Torre, Augusto & Ize, Alain, 2013. "The foundations of macroprudential regulation : a conceptual roadmap," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6575, The World Bank.

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