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Financial Safety Nets: Reconstructing and Modeling a Policymaking Metaphor


  • Edward J. Kane


This paper explains that financial safety nets exist because of difficulties in enforcing contracts and shows that elements of deposit-insurance schemes differ substantially across countries. It argues that differences in the design of financial safety nets correlate significantly with differences in the informational and contracting environments of individual countries and that a country's GDP per capita is correlated with proxies for a country's level of: (1) informational transparency, (2) contract enforcement and deterrent rights, and (3) accountability for safety net officials. The analysis portrays deposit insurance as a part of a country's larger safety net and contracting environment. This means that there is no universal method for preventing and resolving banking problems and that the structure of a country's safety net should evolve over time with changes in private and government regulators' capacity for: valuing financial institutions, for disciplining risk taking and resolving insolvency promptly, and for being held accountable for how well they perform these tasks.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward J. Kane, 2001. "Financial Safety Nets: Reconstructing and Modeling a Policymaking Metaphor," NBER Working Papers 8224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8224
    Note: CF

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Talley, Samuel H. & Mas, Ignacio, 1990. "Deposit insurance in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 548, The World Bank.
    2. Anna J. Schwartz, 1999. "Is There a Need for an International Lender of Last Resort?," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 19(1), pages 1-6, Spring/Su.
    3. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Enrica Detragiache, 1997. "The Determinants of Banking Crises; Evidence From Developing and Developed Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/106, International Monetary Fund.
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    5. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Detragiache, Enrica, 2002. "Does deposit insurance increase banking system stability? An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1373-1406, October.
    6. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Government Ownership of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 265-301, February.
    8. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    9. Robert C. Merton & André Perold, 1993. "Theory Of Risk Capital In Financial Firms," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 6(3), pages 16-32.
    10. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    11. Calomiris, Charles W., 1999. "Building an incentive-compatible safety net," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1499-1519, October.
    12. G. G. Garcia, 1999. "Deposit Insurance; A Survey of Actual and Best Practices," IMF Working Papers 99/54, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Kane, Edward J., 1995. "Three paradigms for the role of capitalization requirements in insured financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 431-459, June.
    14. Black, Fischer & Miller, Merton H & Posner, Richard A, 1978. "An Approach to the Regulation of Bank Holding Companies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 379-412, July.
    15. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-398, September.
    16. Philippe Aghion, Patrick Bolton & Steven Fries, 1999. "Optimal Design of Bank Bailouts: The Case of Transition Economies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(1), pages 1-51, March.
    17. Larry D. Wall, 1997. "Taking note of the deposit insurance fund: a plan for the FDIC to issue capital notes," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 1, pages 14-30.
    18. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Enrica Detragiache, 2000. "Does Deposit Insurance Increase Banking System Stability?," IMF Working Papers 00/3, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Warner, Jerold B., 1979. "On financial contracting : An analysis of bond covenants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 117-161, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kane, Edward J., 2003. "What kind of multinational deposit-insurance arrangements might best enhance world welfare?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 413-428, September.
    2. Edward Kane, 2010. "The Importance of Monitoring and Mitigating the Safety-Net Consequences of Regulation-Induced Innovation," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 68(2), pages 145-161.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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