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Financial Fragility, Liquidity and Asset Prices

  • Franklin Allen
  • Douglas Gale

A financial system is fragile if a small shock has a large effect. Sunspot equilibria, where the endogenous variables depend on extrinsic uncertainty, provide an extreme illustration. However, fundamental equilibria, where outcomes depend only on intrinsic uncertainty, can also be fragile. We study the relationship between sunspot equilibria and fundamental equilibria in a model of financial crises. The amount of liquidity is endogenously chosen and determines asset prices. The model has multiple equilibria, but only some of these are the limit of fundamental equilibria when the fundamental uncertainty becomes vanishingly small. We show that under certain conditions the only robust equilibria are those in which extrinsic uncertainty gives rise to asset price volatility and Þnancial crises.

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File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/01/0137.pdf
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Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 01-37.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:01-37
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  1. Karl Shell & Aditya Goenka, 1996. "When sunspots don't matter (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 169-178.
  2. Charles W. Calomiris & Joseph R. Mason, 2000. "Causes of U.S. Bank Distress During the Depression," NBER Working Papers 7919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Charles W. Calomiris & Gary Gorton, . "The Origins of Banking Panics: Models, Facts, and Bank Regulation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 11-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  4. Chang, R. & Velasco, A., 1998. "Financial Crises in Emerging Markets: A Canonical Model," Working Papers 98-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii, . ""Generic Existence of Sunspot Equilibria: The Case of real Assets''," CARESS Working Papres 95-12, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  6. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 2000. "Bubbles and Crises," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 236-55, January.
  7. Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 1998. "Financial Fragility and the Exchange Rate Regime," NBER Working Papers 6469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hellwig, Martin, 1994. "Liquidity provision, banking, and the allocation of interest rate risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1363-1389, August.
  9. Michael Magill & Martine Quinzii, 2002. "Theory of Incomplete Markets, Volume 1," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262632543, June.
  10. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1976. "Optimal Financial Crises," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-01, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  11. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038, June.
  12. Bruce Champ & Bruce D. Smith & Stephen D. Williamson, 1996. "Currency Elasticity and Banking Panics: Theory and Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 828-64, November.
  13. Neil Wallace, 1988. "Another attempt to explain an illiquid banking system: the Diamond and Dybvig model with sequential service taken seriously," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 3-16.
  14. Jacklin, Charles J & Bhattacharya, Sudipto, 1988. "Distinguishing Panics and Information-Based Bank Runs: Welfare and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 568-92, June.
  15. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 2000. "Optimal currency crises," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 177-230, December.
  16. Azariadis, Costas, 1981. "Self-fulfilling prophecies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 380-396, December.
  17. Alonso, Irasema, 1996. "On avoiding bank runs," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 73-87, February.
  18. Peck, James & Shell, Karl, 2001. "Equilibrium Bank Runs," Working Papers 01-10r, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  19. Gorton, Gary, 1988. "Banking Panics and Business Cycles," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 751-81, December.
  20. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1998. "Financial Contagion Journal of Political Economy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-31, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  21. Postlewaite, Andrew & Vives, Xavier, 1987. "Bank Runs as an Equilibrium Phenomenon," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 485-91, June.
  22. Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 1998. "Financial Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 6606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  24. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 1996. "Interbank Lending and Systemic Risk," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 733-62, November.
  25. Neil Wallace, 1990. "A banking model in which partial suspension is best," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 11-23.
  26. V.V. Chari, 1989. "Banking without deposit insurance or bank panics: lessons from a model of the U.S. national banking system," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-19.
  27. Geanakoplos, John, 1990. "An introduction to general equilibrium with incomplete asset markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-38.
  28. V.V. Chari & Ravi Jagannathan, 1984. "Banking Panics," Discussion Papers 618, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  29. Gottardi, Piero & Kajii, Atsushi, 1999. "The Structure of Sunspot Equilibria: The Role of Multiplicity," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 713-32, July.
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