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Shareholder Liability and Bank Failure

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  • Felipe Aldunate
  • Dirk Jenter
  • Arthur Korteweg
  • Peter Koudijs

Abstract

Does enhanced shareholder liability reduce bank failure? We compare the performance of around 4,200 state-regulated banks of similar size in neighboring U.S. states with different liability regimes during the Great Depression. The distress rate of limited liability banks was 29% higher than that of banks with enhanced liability. Results are robust to a diff-in-diff analysis incorporating nationally-regulated banks (which faced the same regulations everywhere) and are not driven by other differences in state regulations, Fed membership, local characteristics, or differential selection into state-regulated banks. Our results suggest that exposing shareholders to more downside risk can successfully reduce bank failure.

Suggested Citation

  • Felipe Aldunate & Dirk Jenter & Arthur Korteweg & Peter Koudijs, 2021. "Shareholder Liability and Bank Failure," CESifo Working Paper Series 9168, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9168
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    Keywords

    limited liability; bank risk taking; financial crises; Great Depression;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • N22 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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