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Discount Window Policy, Banking Crises, And Indeterminacy Of Equilibrium

  • ANTINOLFI, GAETANO
  • KEISTER, TODD

We examine optimal discount window policy in an economy with a linear investment technology and aggregate liquidity shocks. Unrestricted lending at the discount window prevents large shocks from causing banking crises, but leads to indeterminacy of stationary equilibrium. We show how a policy of offering discount-window loans at an above-market interest rate generates a unique stationary monetary equilibrium. Under such a policy, banking crises occur with positive probability in equilibrium, but a proper choice of interest rate can make the welfare loss due to these crises arbitrarily small. We then modify the model by introducing diminishing returns to investment and show that, in this case, the optimal policy may eliminate banking crises entirely.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2006)
Issue (Month): 01 (February)
Pages: 1-19

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Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:10:y:2006:i:01:p:1-19_05
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  1. Bruce Champ & Bruce D. Smith & Stephen D. Williamson, 1996. "Currency Elasticity and Banking Panics: Theory and Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 828-64, November.
  2. Stephen D. Williamson, 1995. "Discount Window Lending and Deposit Insurance," Macroeconomics 9504001, EconWPA, revised 18 Apr 1995.
  3. Townsend, Robert M, 1987. "Economic Organization with Limited Communication," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 954-71, December.
  4. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1982. "The Real-Bills Doctrine versus the Quantity Theory: A Reconsideration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1212-36, December.
  5. Freeman, Scott, 1996. "The Payments System, Liquidity, and Rediscounting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1126-38, December.
  6. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  7. James Peck & Karl Shell, 2003. "Equilibrium Bank Runs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 103-123, February.
  8. Schreft, Stacey L & Smith, Bruce D, 2002. "The Conduct of Monetary Policy with a Shrinking Stock of Government Debt," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(3), pages 848-82, August.
  9. Freeman, Scott, 1999. "Rediscounting under aggregate risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 197-216, February.
  10. Gaetano Antinolfi & Elisabeth Huybens & Todd Keister, 2000. "Monetary Stability and Liquidity Crises: The Role of the Lender of Last Resort," Working Papers 0001, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  11. Bruce D. Smith, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Banking Crises, and the Friedman Rule," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 128-134, May.
  12. John H. Boyd & Pedro Gomis & Sungkyu Kwak & Bruce D. Smith, 2000. "A User's Guide to Banking Crises," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-36, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  13. Ennis, Huberto M. & Keister, Todd, 2003. "Economic growth, liquidity, and bank runs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 220-245, April.
  14. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
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