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Understanding Bank Runs: The Importance of Depositor-Bank Relationships and Networks

  • Rajkamal Iyer
  • Manju Puri
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    We use unique depositor-level data for a bank that faced a run to understand the factors that affect depositor behavior. We find uninsured depositors are most likely to run. Deposit insurance helps, but is only partially effective. Bank-depositor relationships mitigate runs, suggesting that relationship with depositors help banks reduce fragility. In addition, we also find that social networks matter. Finally, we find long-term effects of a solvent bank run in that depositors who run do not return back to the bank. Our results help understand the underlying dynamics of bank runs and hold important policy implications. (JEL D12, G21, O16, Z13)

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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (June)
    Pages: 1414-45

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:4:p:1414-45
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    1. Saunders, Anthony & Wilson, Berry, 1996. "Contagious Bank Runs: Evidence from the 1929-1933 Period," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 409-423, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Itay Goldstein & Ady Pauzner, 2005. "Demand-Deposit Contracts and the Probability of Bank Runs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1293-1327, 06.
    4. 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.
    5. Yehning Chen, 1999. "Banking Panics: The Role of the First-Come, First-Served Rule and Information Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 946-968, October.
    6. Anil K. Kashyap & Raghuram Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Banks as Liquidity Providers: An Explanation for the Coexistence of Lending and Deposit-Taking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 33-73, 02.
    7. DellAriccia, Giovanni & Detragiache, Enrica & Rajan, Raghuram G, 2005. "The Real Effect of Banking Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 5088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Mathias Dewatripont & Lars Peter Hansen & Stephen J. Turnowsky, 2003. "Advances in economics and econometrics: Theory and Applications, Eighth World Congress," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/175994, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    11. Ongena, Steven & Smith, David C. & Michalsen, Dag, 2003. "Firms and their distressed banks: lessons from the Norwegian banking crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 81-112, January.
    12. Emmanuel Saez & Esther Duflo, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
    13. Jacklin, Charles J & Bhattacharya, Sudipto, 1988. "Distinguishing Panics and Information-Based Bank Runs: Welfare and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 568-92, June.
    14. Fenghua Song & Anjan V. Thakor, 2007. "Relationship Banking, Fragility, and the Asset-Liability Matching Problem," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2129-2177, November.
    15. Bryant, John, 1980. "A model of reserves, bank runs, and deposit insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-344, December.
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