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Deposit Insurance: Theories and Facts

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  • Charles W. Calomiris
  • Matthew Jaremski

Abstract

Economic theories posit that bank liability insurance is designed as serving the public interest by mitigating systemic risk in the banking system through liquidity risk reduction. Political theories see liability insurance as serving the private interests of banks, bank borrowers, and depositors, potentially at the expense of the public interest. Empirical evidence – both historical and contemporary – supports the private-interest approach as liability insurance generally has been associated with increases, rather than decreases, in systemic risk. Exceptions to this rule are rare, and reflect design features that prevent moral hazard and adverse selection. Prudential regulation of insured banks has generally not been a very effective tool in limiting the systemic risk increases associated with liability insurance. This likely reflects purposeful failures in regulation; if liability insurance is motivated by private interests, then there would be little point to removing the subsidies it creates through strict regulation. That same logic explains why more effective policies for addressing systemic risk are not employed in place of liability insurance. The politics of liability insurance also should not be construed narrowly to encompass only the vested interests of bankers. Indeed, in many countries, it has been installed as a pass-through subsidy targeted to particular classes of bank borrowers.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles W. Calomiris & Matthew Jaremski, 2016. "Deposit Insurance: Theories and Facts," NBER Working Papers 22223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22223
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    Cited by:

    1. Carmassi, Jacopo & Dobkowitz, Sonja & Evrard, Johanne & Parisi, Laura & Silva, André & Wedow, Michael, 2018. "Completing the Banking Union with a European Deposit Insurance Scheme: who is afraid of cross-subsidisation?," Occasional Paper Series 208, European Central Bank.
    2. Charles W. Calomiris & Sophia Chen, 2018. "The Spread of Deposit Insurance and the Global Rise in Bank Asset Risk since the 1970s," Working Papers id:12909, eSocialSciences.
    3. Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune & Yankov, Vladimir, 2016. "Limited deposit insurance coverage and bank competition," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 95-108.
    4. repec:ces:ifodic:v:17:y:2019:i:1:p:50000000005875 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Calomiris, Charles W. & Flandreau, Marc & Laeven, Luc, 2016. "Political foundations of the lender of last resort: A global historical narrative," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 48-65.
    6. Acharya, Viral V. & Gündüz, Yalin & Johnson, Tim, 2018. "Bank use of sovereign CDS in the eurozone crisis: Hedging and risk incentives," Discussion Papers 26/2018, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    7. Gersbach, Hans & Haller, Hans & Volker, Britz, 2017. "Deposit Insurance and Reinsurance: A General Equilibrium Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 11947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Gersbach, Hans, 2018. "Contingent contracts in banking: Insurance or risk magnification?," CFS Working Paper Series 612, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    9. G. Chiesa & J. M. Mansilla-Fernández, 2018. "Non-Performing Loans, Cost of Capital, and Lending Supply: Lessons from the Eurozone Banking Crisi," Working Papers wp1124, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    10. repec:pal:jbkreg:v:19:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1057_s41261-017-0050-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:finsta:v:37:y:2018:i:c:p:97-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Gabriella CHIESA & José Manuel MANSILLA-FERNÁNDEZ, 2018. "Non-Performing Loans, Cost of Capital, and Lending Supply: Lessons from the Eurozone Banking Crisis," Departmental Working Papers 2018-05, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    13. repec:ces:ifodic:v:17:y:2019:i:01:p:26-29 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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