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Bank runs without self-fulfilling prophecies


  • Haibin Zhu


This paper proposes that bank runs are unique equilibrium outcomes instead of self-fulfilling prophecies. By assuming that depositors make their withdrawal decisions sequentially, the model provides an equilibrium-selection mechanism in the economy. A bank run would occur if and only if depositors perceive a low return on bank assets. Furthermore, a panic situation arises only when the market information is imperfect. A two-stage variant of the model shows that banks would deliberately offer a demand-deposit contract that is susceptive to bank runs.

Suggested Citation

  • Haibin Zhu, 2001. "Bank runs without self-fulfilling prophecies," BIS Working Papers 106, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:106

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frankel, David M. & Morris, Stephen & Pauzner, Ady, 2003. "Equilibrium selection in global games with strategic complementarities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-44, January.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    3. Kaminsky, Graciela L. & Reinhart, Carmen M., 2000. "On crises, contagion, and confusion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 145-168, June.
    4. James Peck & Karl Shell, 2003. "Equilibrium Bank Runs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 103-123, February.
    5. David Backus & Silverio Foresi & Liuren Wu, 2002. "Contagion in Financial Markets," Finance 0207009, EconWPA.
    6. Jianbo Zhang, 1997. "Strategic Delay and the Onset of Investment Cascades," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(1), pages 188-205, Spring.
    7. Curtis R. Taylor & Thomas D. Jeitschko, 2001. "Local Discouragement and Global Collapse: A Theory of Coordination Avalanches," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 208-224, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Spiegel, Mark M., 2005. "Solvency runs, sunspot runs, and international bailouts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 203-219, January.
    2. Zhu, Haibin, 2005. "Bank runs, welfare and policy implications," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 279-307, April.
    3. Iskandar Simorangkir, 2011. "Bank Run Determinants in Indonesia: Bad Luck or Fundamental Factors?," EcoMod2011 3557, EcoMod.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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