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Measuring systemic risk


  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Lasse H. Pedersen
  • Thomas Philippon
  • Matthew Richardson


We present a simple model of systemic risk and show how each financial institution’s contribution to systemic risk can be measured and priced. An institution’s contribution, denoted systemic expected shortfall (SES), is its propensity to be undercapitalized when the system as a whole is undercapitalized, which increases in its leverage, volatility, correlation, and tail-dependence. Institutions internalize their externality if they are “taxed” based on their SES. Through several examples, we demonstrate empirically the ability of components of SES to predict emerging systemic risk during the nancial crisis of 2007-2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Viral V. Acharya & Lasse H. Pedersen & Thomas Philippon & Matthew Richardson, 2010. "Measuring systemic risk," Working Paper 1002, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Backus & Mikhail Chernov & Ian Martin, 2011. "Disasters Implied by Equity Index Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 1969-2012, December.
    2. Acharya, Viral V. & Yorulmazer, Tanju, 2007. "Too many to fail--An analysis of time-inconsistency in bank closure policies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-31, January.
    3. Emmanuel Farhi & Jean Tirole, 2012. "Collective Moral Hazard, Maturity Mismatch, and Systemic Bailouts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 60-93, February.
    4. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, May.
    5. Gordy, Michael B., 2003. "A risk-factor model foundation for ratings-based bank capital rules," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 199-232, July.
    6. Alon Raviv, 2004. "Bank Stability and Market Discipline: Debt-for-Equity Swap versus Subordinated Notes," Finance 0408003, EconWPA.
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    More about this item


    Systemic risk ; Risk;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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