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Bank incentives, economic specialization, and financial crises in emerging economies

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  • Gande, Amar
  • John, Kose
  • Senbet, Lemma W.

Abstract

We model the vulnerability of an economy to a financial crisis as arising from the interaction of the degree of economic specialization and bank debt financing. The probability of a financial crisis is shown to increase in the degree of economic specialization. Bank debt financing has the beneficial effect of lowering the degree of economic specialization by increasing access to financing of investment opportunities that would not have been financed due to wealth constraints of entrepreneurs (financial access effect). However, bank debt financing induces risk-shifting incentives (leverage effect). The net effect on the probability of a financial crisis depends on which of these two effects dominates. We show that commonly employed mechanisms in managing financial crises, particularly bailouts, induce an additional agency cost by distorting bank incentives to concentrate loans in specific sectors (bank debt concentration effect). We propose a tax-based ex ante solution mechanism that simultaneously induces optimal investment and eliminates the bank debt concentration effect. Implementation issues and empirical/policy implications are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Gande, Amar & John, Kose & Senbet, Lemma W., 2008. "Bank incentives, economic specialization, and financial crises in emerging economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 707-732, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:27:y:2008:i:5:p:707-732
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