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Banking panics, information, and rational expectations equilibrium

  • S. Rao Aiyagari

This paper shows that bank runs can be modeled as an equilibrium phenomenon. We demonstrate that some aspects of the intuitive “story” that bank runs start with fears of insolvency of banks can be rigorously modeled. If individuals observe long “lines” at the bank, they correctly infer that there is a possibility that the bank is about to fail and precipitate a bank run. However, bank runs occur even when no one has any adverse information. Extra market constraints such as suspension of convertibility can prevent bank runs and result in superior allocations.

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File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/common/pub_detail.cfm?pb_autonum_id=561
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File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/WP/WP320.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 320.

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Date of creation: 1988
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Publication status: Published in Credit, intermediation, and the macroeconomy: Readings and perspectives in modern financial theory (2004, pp. 265-279) ; Journal of Finance (Vol. 43, No. 3, July 1988, pp. 749-61)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:320
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  1. Diamond, Douglas W. & Verrecchia, Robert E., 1981. "Information aggregation in a noisy rational expectations economy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 221-235, September.
  2. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  3. Admati, Anat R, 1985. "A Noisy Rational Expectations Equilibrium for Multi-asset Securities Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 629-57, May.
  4. Anderson, Robert M. & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1982. "On the existence of rational expectations equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 261-278, April.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
  6. Jacklin, Charles J & Bhattacharya, Sudipto, 1988. "Distinguishing Panics and Information-Based Bank Runs: Welfare and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 568-92, June.
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