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A Theory of Systemic Risk and Design of Prudential Bank Regulation

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  • Acharya, Viral V

Abstract

Systemic risk is modeled as the endogenously chosen correlation of returns on assets held by banks. The limited liability of banks and the presence of a negative externality of one bank’s failure on the health of other banks give rise to a systemic risk-shifting incentive where all banks undertake correlated investments, thereby increasing economy-wide aggregate risk. Regulatory mechanisms such as bank closure policy and capital adequacy requirements that are commonly based only on a bank’s own risk fail to mitigate aggregate risk-shifting incentives, and can, in fact, accentuate systemic risk. Prudential regulation is shown to operate at a collective level, regulating each bank as a function of both its joint (correlated) risk with other banks as well as its individual (bank-specific) risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Acharya, Viral V, 2009. "A Theory of Systemic Risk and Design of Prudential Bank Regulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7164, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7164
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank regulation; Capital adequacy; Crisis; Risk-shifting; Systemic risk;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • 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
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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