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Taking Uncertainty Seriously: Simplicity versus Complexity in Financial Regulation

Author

Listed:
  • Aikman, David
  • Galesic, Mirta
  • Gigerenzer, Gerd
  • Kapadia, Sujit
  • Katsikopolous, Konstantinos
  • Kothiyal, Amit
  • Murphy, Emma
  • Neumann, Tobias

Abstract

Distinguishing between risk and uncertainty, this paper draws on the psychological literature on heuristics to consider whether and when simpler approaches may out-perform more complex methods for modelling and regulating the financial system. We find that: (i) simple methods can sometimes dominate more complex modelling approaches for calculating banks’ capital requirements, especially if limited data are available for estimating models or the underlying risks are characterised by fat-tailed distributions; (ii) simple indicators often outperformed more complex metrics in predicting individual bank failure during the global financial crisis; (iii) when combining information from different indicators to predict bank failure, “fast-and-frugal” decision trees can perform comparably to standard, but more information-intensive, regression techniques, while being simpler and easier to communicate.

Suggested Citation

  • Aikman, David & Galesic, Mirta & Gigerenzer, Gerd & Kapadia, Sujit & Katsikopolous, Konstantinos & Kothiyal, Amit & Murphy, Emma & Neumann, Tobias, 2014. "Taking Uncertainty Seriously: Simplicity versus Complexity in Financial Regulation," MPRA Paper 59908, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:59908
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/59908/1/MPRA_paper_59908.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakraborty, Chiranjit & Joseph, Andreas, 2017. "Machine learning at central banks," Bank of England working papers 674, Bank of England.
    2. Popoyan, Lilit & Napoletano, Mauro & Roventini, Andrea, 2017. "Taming macroeconomic instability: Monetary and macro-prudential policy interactions in an agent-based model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 117-140.
    3. Lukasz, Rachel & Fisher, Jack, 2016. "Assessing vulnerabilities to financial shocks in some key global economies," Bank of England working papers 636, Bank of England.
    4. Yakov Ben-Haim & Maria Demertzis & Jan Willem Van den End, 2017. "Fundamental uncertainty and unconventional monetary policy: an info-gap approach," DNB Working Papers 544, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Kalatie, Simo & Laakkonen, Helinä & Tölö, Eero, 2015. "Indicators used in setting the countercyclical capital buffer," Research Discussion Papers 8/2015, Bank of Finland.
    6. Lukas Pfeifer & Libor Holub & Zdenek Pikhart & Martin Hodula, 2016. "The Role of the Leverage Ratio in Capital Regulation of the Banking Sector," Occasional Publications - Chapters in Edited Volumes,in: CNB Financial Stability Report 2015/2016, chapter 0, pages 137-148 Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    7. Schmitt, Matthias & Schmaltz, Christian, 2016. "Potential implications of a NSFR on German banks' credit supply and profitability," Discussion Papers 37/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    8. Katsikopoulos, Konstantinos V., 2016. "On the role of psychological heuristics in operational research; and a demonstration in military stability operationsAuthor-Name: Keller, Niklas," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(3), pages 1063-1073.
    9. de Ramon, Sebastian & Francis, William & Milonas, Kristoffer, 2017. "An overview of the UK banking sector since the Basel Accord: insights from a new regulatory database," Bank of England working papers 652, Bank of England.
    10. Forbes, William & Hudson, Robert & Skerratt, Len & Soufian, Mona, 2015. "Which heuristics can aid financial-decision-making?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 199-210.
    11. repec:jdm:journl:v:12:y:2017:i:4:p:344-368 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Andrew G. Haldane, 2015. "Multi-Polar Regulation," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(3), pages 385-401, June.
    13. Coen, Jamie & Francis, William & Rostom, May, 2017. "The determinants of UK credit union failure," Bank of England working papers 658, Bank of England.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank regulation; financial regulation; uncertainty; simplicity; heuristics; Basel 2; risk modelling;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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