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Equilibrium Bank Runs

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  • James Peck
  • Karl Shell

Abstract

We analyze a banking system in which the class of feasible deposit contracts, or mechanisms, is broad. The mechanisms must satisfy a sequential service constraint, but partial or full suspension of convertibility is allowed. Consumers must be willing to deposit, ex ante. We show, by examples, that under the so-called "optimal contract," the postdeposit game can have a run equilibrium. Given a propensity to run, triggered by sunspots, the optimal contract for the full predeposit game can be consistent with runs that occur with positive probability. Thus the Diamond-Dybvig framework can explain bank runs as emerging in equilibrium under the optimal deposit contract.

Suggested Citation

  • James Peck & Karl Shell, 2003. "Equilibrium Bank Runs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 103-123, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:111:y:2003:i:1:p:103-123
    DOI: 10.1086/344803
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Postlewaite, Andrew & Vives, Xavier, 1987. "Bank Runs as an Equilibrium Phenomenon," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 485-491, June.
    2. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 24(Win), pages 14-23.
    3. Calomiris, Charles W & Kahn, Charles M, 1991. "The Role of Demandable Debt in Structuring Optimal Banking Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 497-513, June.
    4. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2001. "Liquidity Risk, Liquidity Creation, and Financial Fragility: A Theory of Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 287-327, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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