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Incentive audits : a new approach to financial regulation

  • Cihak, Martin
  • Demirguc-Kunt, Asli
  • Johnston, R. Barry

A large body of evidence points to misaligned incentives as having a key role in the run-up to the global financial crisis. These include bank managers'incentives to boost short-term profits and create banks that are"too big to fail,"regulators'incentives to forebear and withhold information from other regulators in stressful times, and credit rating agencies'incentives to keep issuing high ratings for subprime assets. As part of the response to the crisis, policymakers and regulators also attempted to address some incentive issues, but various outside observers have criticized the response for being insufficient. This paper proposes a pragmatic approach to re-orienting financial regulation to have at its core the objective of addressing incentives on an ongoing basis. Specifically, the paper proposes"incentive audits"as a tool that could help in identifying incentive misalignments in the financial sector. The paper illustrates how such audits could be implemented in practice, and what the implications would be for the design of policies and frameworks to mitigate systemic risks.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6308.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6308
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  1. Cihák, Martin & Podpiera, Richard, 2008. "Integrated financial supervision: Which model?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 135-152, August.
  2. Barth, James R. & Caprio, Gerard Jr. & Levine, Ross, 2012. "Guardians of Finance: Making Regulators Work for Us," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262017393, June.
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  9. Charles W. Calomiris, 2011. "An Incentive‐Robust Programme For Financial Reform," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(s2), pages 39-72, 09.
  10. Richard J. Herring & Anthony M. Santomero, 2000. "What Is Optimal Financial Regulation?," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-34, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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  12. Jingqing Chai & R. B. Johnston, 2000. "An Incentive Approach to Identifying Financial System Vulnerabilities," IMF Working Papers 00/211, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Sònia Muñoz & Samir Jahjah & Martin Cihák & Sharika Teh Sharifuddin & Kalin Tintchev, 2012. "Financial Stability Reports:What Are they Good for?," IMF Working Papers 12/1, International Monetary Fund.
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  18. Marc Quintyn & Rosaria Vega Pansini & Donato Masciandaro, 2011. "The Economic Crisis; Did Financial Supervision Matter?," IMF Working Papers 11/261, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Andrew Ellul & Vijay Yerramilli, 2010. "Stronger Risk Controls, Lower Risk: Evidence from U.S. Bank Holding Companies," FMG Discussion Papers dp646, Financial Markets Group.
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  22. Melecky, Martin & Podpiera, Anca Maria, 2012. "Institutional structures of financial sector supervision, their drivers and emerging benchmark models," MPRA Paper 37059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  23. Udaibir S. Das & Marc Quintyn & Kina Chenard, 2004. "Does Regulatory Governance Matter for Financial System Stability? An Empirical Analysis," IMF Working Papers 04/89, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Martin Cihák & Alexander F. Tieman, 2008. "Quality of Financial Sector Regulation and Supervision Around the World," IMF Working Papers 08/190, International Monetary Fund.
  25. Inci Ötker & Aditya Narain & Anna Ilyina & Jay Surti, 2011. "The Too-Important-to-Fail Conundrum; Impossible to Ignore and Difficult to Resolve," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 11/12, International Monetary Fund.
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