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Bailouts, Time Inconsistency, and Optimal Regulation

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  • V.V. Chari
  • Patrick J. Kehoe

Abstract

We develop a model in which, in order to provide managerial incentives, it is optimal to have costly bankruptcy. If benevolent governments can commit to their policies, it is optimal not to interfere with private contracts. Such policies are time inconsistent in the sense that, without commitment, governments have incentives to bail out firms by buying up the debt of distressed firms and renegotiating their contracts with managers. From an ex ante perspective, however, such bailouts are costly because they worsen incentives and thereby reduce welfare. We show that regulation in the form of limits on the debt-to-value ratio of firms mitigates the time-inconsistency problem by eliminating the incentives of governments to undertake bailouts. In terms of the cyclical properties of regulation, we show that regulation should be tightest in aggregate states in which resources lost to bankruptcy in the equilibrium without a government are largest.

Suggested Citation

  • V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2013. "Bailouts, Time Inconsistency, and Optimal Regulation," NBER Working Papers 19192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19192
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Javier Bianchi, 2011. "Overborrowing and Systemic Externalities in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3400-3426, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thierry Tressel & Thierry Verdier, 2014. "Optimal Prudential Regulation of Banks and the Political Economy of Supervision," IMF Working Papers 14/90, International Monetary Fund.
    2. 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.
    3. Ricardo Reis, 2013. "Central Bank Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 17-44, Fall.
    4. Ize,Alain & De La Torre,Augusto, 2013. "The conceptual foundations of macroprudential policy : a roadmap," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6576, The World Bank.
    5. Athreya, Kartik B., 2015. "Systemic Risk and the Pursuit of Efficiency," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 1Q, pages 23-47.
    6. repec:eme:jespps:jes-09-2015-0159 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ernesto Pastén, 2014. "Bailouts and Prudential Policies - A Delicate Interaction," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 743, Central Bank of Chile.
    8. Thomas J. Carter, 2017. "Optimal Interbank Regulation," Staff Working Papers 17-48, Bank of Canada.
    9. Todd Keister & Vijay Narasiman, 2016. "Expectations vs. Fundamentals- driven Bank Runs: When Should Bailouts be Permitted?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 89-104, July.
    10. Marius A. Zoican & Lucyna A. Górnicka, 2013. "Banking Unions: Distorted Incentives and Efficient Bank Resolution," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-184/VI, Tinbergen Institute, revised 16 May 2014.
    11. Farhi, Emmanuel & Tirole, Jean, 2015. "Deadly Embrace: Sovereign and Financial Balance Sheets Doom Loops," CEPR Discussion Papers 11024, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Sebastian Di Tella, 2017. "Optimal Regulation of Financial Intermediaries," NBER Working Papers 23586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. de la Torre, Augusto & Ize, Alain, 2013. "The foundations of macroprudential regulation : a conceptual roadmap," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6575, The World Bank.
    14. Jin Cheng & Meixing Dai & Frédéric Dufourt, 2016. "Banking Crisis, Moral Hazard and Fiscal Policy Responses," Working Papers of BETA 2016-06, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    15. Juliane Begenau, 2015. "Capital Requirements, Risk Choice, and Liquidity Provision in a Business Cycle Model," 2015 Meeting Papers 687, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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