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A Contracting-Theory Interpretation of the Origins of Federal Deposit Insurance

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  • Edward J. Kane
  • Berry K. Wilson

Abstract

Conventional wisdom holds that the enactment of federal deposit insurance helped small rural banks at the expense of large urban institutions. This paper uses asymmetric information, agency-cost paradigms from corporate finance theory and data on bank stock prices to show how deposit insurance could and did help stockholders of large banks. The broadening stockholder distribution of large banks during the stock market bubble of the late 1920s undermined the efficiency of double liability provisions in controlling incentive conflict among large bank stakeholders. Federal deposit insurance restored depositor confidence by asking government officials to take over and bond the task of monitoring managerial performance and solvency at U.S. banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward J. Kane & Berry K. Wilson, 1998. "A Contracting-Theory Interpretation of the Origins of Federal Deposit Insurance," NBER Working Papers 6451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6451
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:intfin:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:209-227 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Beck, Thorsten & Laeven, Luc, 2006. "Resolution of failed banks by deposit insurers : cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3920, The World Bank.
    3. Nechita Radu, 2003. "Demand Deposits Insurance and Double Liability : The effect On Incentives," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-44, March.
    4. Malcolm Anderson, 1999. "Accounting History Publications 1998," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 375-384.
    5. Viral V. Acharya & Thomas Cooley & Matthew Richardson & Ingo Walter, 2011. "Market Failures and Regulatory Failures : Lessons from Past and Present Financial Crises," Governance Working Papers 23273, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    6. Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Kane, Edward J. & Laeven, Luc, 2008. "Determinants of deposit-insurance adoption and design," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 407-438, July.
    7. Kane, Edward J. & Wilson, Berry, 2002. "Regression evidence of safety-net support in Canada and the U.S., 1893-1992," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 649-671.
    8. Charles W. Calomiris & Elliot S.M. Oh, 2018. "Who Owned Citibank? Familiarity Bias and Business Network Influences on Stock Purchases, 1925-1929," NBER Working Papers 24431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Luc Laeven, 2004. "The Political Economy of Deposit Insurance," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 26(3), pages 201-224, December.
    10. Charles W. Calomiris & Berry Wilson, 1996. "Bank capital and portfolio management: the 1930s capital crunch and scramble to shed risk," Proceedings 521, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    11. DeLong, Gayle & Saunders, Anthony, 2011. "Did the introduction of fixed-rate federal deposit insurance increase long-term bank risk-taking?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 19-25, January.
    12. Ching-Yi Chung & Gary Richardson, 2006. "Deposit Insurance and the Composition of Bank Suspensions in Developing Economies: Lessons from the State Deposit Insurance Experiments of the 1920S," NBER Working Papers 12594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Kane, Edward J. & Laeven, Luc, 2006. "Deposit insurance design and implementation : policy lessons from research and practice," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3969, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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