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Mandatory Disclosure and Financial Contagion

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  • Fernando Alvarez
  • Gadi Barlevy

Abstract

This paper explores whether mandatory disclosure of bank balance sheet information can improve welfare. In our benchmark model, mandatory disclosure can raise welfare only when markets are frozen, i.e. when investors refuse to fund banks in the absence of balance sheet information. Even then, intervention is only warranted if there is sufficient contagion across banks, in a sense we make precise within our model. In the same benchmark model, if in the absence of balance sheet information investors would fund banks, mandatory disclosure cannot raise welfare and it will be desirable to forbid banks to disclose their financial positions. When we modify the model to allow banks to engage in moral hazard, mandatory disclosure can increase welfare in normal times. But the case for intervention still hinges on there being sufficient contagion. Finally, we argue disclosure represents a substitute to other financial reforms rather than complement them as some have argued.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando Alvarez & Gadi Barlevy, 2015. "Mandatory Disclosure and Financial Contagion," NBER Working Papers 21328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21328
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Julien Hugonnier & Benjamin Lester & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2014. "Heterogeneity in Decentralized Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 20746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/15008 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Orlov, Dmitry & Zryumov, Pavel & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2017. "Design of Macro-prudential Stress Tests," Research Papers 3548, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    4. François Guillemin & Hervé Alexandre & Catherine Refait-Alexandre, 2015. "Downgrades of sovereign credit ratings and impact on banks CDS spread: does disclosure by banks improve stability?," Post-Print hal-01622782, HAL.
    5. repec:eee:finsta:v:35:y:2018:i:c:p:93-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Inattention to Rare Events," CEPR Discussion Papers 8626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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