The Interrupted Power Law and The Size of Shadow Banking
Using public data (Forbes Global 2000) we show that the asset sizes for the largest global firms follow a Pareto distribution in an intermediate range, that is ``interrupted'' by a sharp cut-off in its upper tail, where it is totally dominated by financial firms. This flattening of the distribution contrasts with a large body of empirical literature which finds a Pareto distribution for firm sizes both across countries and over time. Pareto distributions are generally traced back to a mechanism of proportional random growth, based on a regime of constant returns to scale. This makes our findings of an ``interrupted'' Pareto distribution all the more puzzling, because we provide evidence that financial firms in our sample should operate in such a regime. We claim that the missing mass from the upper tail of the asset size distribution is a consequence of shadow banking activity and that it provides an (upper) estimate of the size of the shadow banking system. This estimate -- which we propose as a shadow banking index -- compares well with estimates of the Financial Stability Board until 2009, but it shows a sharper rise in shadow banking activity after 2010. Finally, we propose a proportional random growth model that reproduces the observed distribution, thereby providing a quantitative estimate of the intensity of shadow banking activity.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Andrew G. Haldane & Vasileios Madouros, 2012. "The dog and the frisbee," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 109-159.
- David C. Wheelock & Paul W. Wilson, 2012. "Do Large Banks Have Lower Costs? New Estimates of Returns to Scale for U.S. Banks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(1), pages 171-199, 02.
- Xavier Gabaix, 2009.
"Power Laws in Economics and Finance,"
Annual Review of Economics,
Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, 05.
- Zoltan Pozsar & Tobias Adrian & Adam B. Ashcraft & Hayley Boesky, 2010.
458, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Davide Fiaschi & Marzia Romanelli, 2009.
"Nonlinear dynamics in welfare and the evolution of world inequality,"
Temi di discussione (Economic working papers)
724, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Davide Fiaschi - Marzia Romanelli, 2009. "Nonlinear Dynamics in Welfare and the Evolution of World Inequality," Discussion Papers 2009/81, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
- Bouchaud, Jean-Philippe & Mézard, Marc, 2000. "Wealth condensation in a simple model of economy," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 282(3), pages 536-545.
- Y. Malevergne & A. Saichev & D. Sornette, 2010.
"Zipf's law and maximum sustainable growth,"
- Tobias Adrian & Daniel M. Covitz & J. Nellie Liang, 2013.
"Financial stability monitoring,"
601, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Jean-Philippe Bouchaud & Marc Mezard, 2000. "Wealth condensation in a simple model of economy," Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive 500026, Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management.
- Fujiwara, Yoshi, 2004. "Zipf law in firms bankruptcy," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 337(1), pages 219-230.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1309.2130. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (arXiv administrators)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.