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Mandatory Disclosure and Financial Contagion

Author

Listed:
  • Gadi Barlevy

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

  • Fernando Alvarez

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

The paper analyzes the welfare implications of mandatory disclosure of losses at financial institutions when it is common knowledge that some banks have incurred losses but not which ones. We develop a model that features "contagion," meaning that banks not hit by shocks may still suffer losses because of their exposure to banks that are. In addition, banks in our model have protable investment projects that require outside funding, but which banks will only undertake if they have enough equity. Investors thus value information about which banks were hit by shocks. We find that when the extent of contagion is large, it is possible for no information to be disclosed in equilibrium but for mandatory disclosure to increase welfare by allowing investment that would not have occurred otherwise. Absent contagion, however, mandatory disclosure will not raise welfare, even if markets are otherwise frozen. Our findings provide insight on when contagion is likely to be a concern, e.g. when banks are highly leveraged against other banks, and thus on when mandatory disclosure is likely to be desirable.

Suggested Citation

  • Gadi Barlevy & Fernando Alvarez, 2014. "Mandatory Disclosure and Financial Contagion," 2014 Meeting Papers 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:115
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Julien HUGONNIER & Benjamin LESTER & Pierre-Olivier WEILL, "undated". "Heterogeneity in Decentralized Asset Markets," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 14-67, Swiss Finance Institute.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/15008 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. François Guillemin & Hervé Alexandre & Catherine Refait-Alexandre, 2015. "Downgrades of sovereign credit ratings and impact on banks CDS spread: does disclosure by banks improve stability?," Post-Print hal-01622782, HAL.
    4. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Inattention to Rare Events," CEPR Discussion Papers 8626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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