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Competition for traders and risk

Author

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  • Michiel Bijlsma
  • Gijsbert Zwart
  • Jan Boone

Abstract

The financial crisis has been attributed partly to perverse incentives for traders at banks and has led policy makers to propose regulation of banks' remuneration packages. We explain why poor incentives for traders cannot be fully resolved by only regulating the bank's top executives, and why direct intervention in trader compensation is called for. We present a model with both trader moral hazard and adverse selection on trader abilities. We demonstrate that as competition on the labour market for traders intensifies, banks optimally offer top traders contracts inducing them to take more risk, even if banks fully internalize the costs of negative outcomes. In this way, banks can reduce the surplus they have to offer to lower ability traders. In addition, we find that increasing banks' capital requirements does not unambiguously lead to reduced risk-taking by their top traders.

Suggested Citation

  • Michiel Bijlsma & Gijsbert Zwart & Jan Boone, 2012. "Competition for traders and risk," CPB Discussion Paper 204, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:204
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Palomino, Frederic & Prat, Andrea, 2003. "Risk Taking and Optimal Contracts for Money Managers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 113-137, Spring.
    2. John Thanassoulis, 2011. "Bankers' Pay Structure And Risk," Economics Series Working Papers 545, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Anil K. Kashyap & Raghuram G. Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 2008. "Rethinking capital regulation," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 431-471.
    4. Bruno Biais & Catherine Casamatta, 1999. "Optimal Leverage and Aggregate Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1291-1323, August.
    5. John Thanassoulis, 2012. "The Case for Intervening in Bankers’ Pay," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(3), pages 849-895, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eberhard Feess & Ansgar Wohlschlegel, 2018. "Bank capital requirements and mandatory deferral of compensation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 206-242, April.
    2. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2016. "Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(2), pages 305-370.
    3. John Thanassoulis, 2012. "The Case for Intervening in Bankers’ Pay," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(3), pages 849-895, June.
    4. Efing, Matthias & Hau, Harald & Kampkötter, Patrick & Steinbrecher, Johannes, 2015. "Incentive pay and bank risk-taking: Evidence from Austrian, German, and Swiss banks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(S1), pages 123-140.
    5. Hamid Boustanifar & Everett Grant & Ariell Reshef, 2016. "Wages and human capital in finance: international evidence, 1970-2005," Globalization Institute Working Papers 266, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    6. Acharya, Viral & Litov, Lubomir P. & Sepe, Simone M., 2014. "Seeking Alpha, Taking Risk: Evidence from Non-executive Pay in U.S. Bank Holding Companies," Working Papers 13-18, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
    7. Marinovic, Iván & Povel, Paul, 2017. "Competition for talent under performance manipulation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-14.
    8. Prachi Mishra & Ariell Reshef, 2019. "How Do Central Bank Governors Matter? Regulation and the Financial Sector," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(2-3), pages 369-402, March.
    9. Jen-Wen Chang & Simpson Zhang, 2018. "Competitive Pay and Excessive Manager Risk-taking," Working Papers 18-02, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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