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Banking panics, information, and rational expectations equilibrium

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  • S. Rao Aiyagari

Abstract

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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  • S. Rao Aiyagari, 1988. "Banking panics, information, and rational expectations equilibrium," Working Papers 320, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:320
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    File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/WP/WP320.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    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. 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 568-592, June.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Admati, Anat R, 1985. "A Noisy Rational Expectations Equilibrium for Multi-asset Securities Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 629-657, May.
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