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Bailouts, Contagion, and Bank Risk-Taking

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  • LEV RATNOVSKI

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Giovanni Dell'Ariccia

    (IMF)

Abstract

We revisit the link between bailouts and bank risk taking. The expectation of government support to failing banks (bailout) creates moral hazard and encourages risk-taking. However, when a bank's success depends on both its idiosyncratic risk and the overall stability of the banking system, a government's commitment to shield banks from contagion may increase their incentives to invest prudently. We explore these issues in a simple model of financial intermediation where a bank's survival depends on another bank's success. We show that the positive effect from systemic insurance dominates the classical moral hazard effect when the risk of contagion is high.

Suggested Citation

  • LEV RATNOVSKI & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, 2012. "Bailouts, Contagion, and Bank Risk-Taking," 2012 Meeting Papers 133, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:133
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    References listed on IDEAS

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