The role of relative performance in bank closure decisions
This paper studies a banking industry subject to common and idiosyncratic shocks. We compare two types of regulatory closure rules: (1) an “absolute closure rule,” which closes banks when their asset–liability ratios fall below a given threshold, and (2) a “relative closure rule,” which closes banks when their asset–liability ratios fall sufficiently below the industry average. There are two main results: First, relative closure rules imply forbearance during “bad times,” defined as adverse realizations of the common shock. This forbearance occurs for incentive reasons, not because of irreversibilities or political economy considerations. Second, relative closure rules are less costly to taxpayers, and these savings increase with the relative variance of the common shock. To evaluate the model, we estimate a panel-logit regression using a sample of U.S. commercial banks. We find strong evidence that U.S. bank closures are based on relative performance. Individual and average asset-liability ratios are both significant predictors of bank closure.
Volume (Year): (2008)
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