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Understanding Bank Runs: The Importance of Depositor-Bank Relationships and Networks

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  • Rajkamal Iyer
  • Manju Puri

Abstract

We use a unique, new, database to examine micro depositor level data for a bank that faced a run. We use minute-by-minute depositor withdrawal data to understand the effectiveness of deposit insurance, the role of social networks, and the importance of bank-depositor relationships in influencing depositor propensity to run. We employ methods from the epidemiology literature which examine how diseases spread to estimate transmission probabilities of depositors running, and the significant underlying factors. We find that deposit insurance is only partially effective in preventing bank runs. Further, our results suggest that social network effects are important but are mitigated by other factors, in particular the length and depth of the bank-depositor relationship. Depositors with longer relationships and those who have availed of loans from a bank are less likely to run during a crisis, suggesting that cross-selling acts not just as a revenue generator but also as a complementary insurance mechanism for the bank. Finally, we find there are long term effects of a solvent bank run in that depositors who run do not return back to the bank. Our results help understand the underlying dynamics of bank runs and hold important policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Rajkamal Iyer & Manju Puri, 2008. "Understanding Bank Runs: The Importance of Depositor-Bank Relationships and Networks," NBER Working Papers 14280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14280
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    Cited by:

    1. Michiel Bijlsma & Karen van der Wiel, 2012. "What Awareness? Consumer Perception of Bank Risk and Deposit Insurance," CPB Discussion Paper 205, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Alfonso Rosa García & Hubert Janos Kiss & Ismael Rodríguez Lara, 2009. "Do social networks prevent bank runs?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2009-25, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    3. David Csercsik & Hubert Janos Kiss, 2016. "Optimal payments to connected depositors in turbulent times-a Markov chain approach," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1609, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    4. Michiel Bijlsma & Karen Van Der Wiel, 2015. "Consumer perception of deposit insurance: little awareness, limited effectiveness?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(32), pages 3439-3461, July.
    5. Acharya, Viral V & Mora, Nada, 2011. "Are Banks Passive Liquidity Backstops? Deposit Rates and Flows during the 2007-2009 Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 8706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:158:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Prean, Nora & Stix, Helmut, 2011. "The effect of raising deposit insurance coverage in times of financial crisis – Evidence from Croatian microdata," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 496-511.
    8. Solntsev, O. & Mamonov, M. & Pestova, A. & Magomedova, Z., 2011. "Experience in Developing Early Warning System for Financial Crises and the Forecast of Russian Banking Sector Dynamic in 2012," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 12, pages 41-76.
    9. Markus Knell & Helmut Stix, 2009. "Trust in Banks? Evidence from normal times and from times of crises," Working Papers 158, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    10. David-Jan Jansen & Robert Mosch & Carin Cruijsen, 2015. "When Does the General Public Lose Trust in Banks?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 127-141, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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