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Financial Fragility, Liquidity and Asset Prices

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  • Franklin Allen
  • Douglas Gale

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 2003. "Financial Fragility, Liquidity and Asset Prices," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-37, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:01-37
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    File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/01/0137.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lelyveld, Iman van & Liedorp, Franka, 2004. "Interbank Contagion in the Dutch Banking Sector," MPRA Paper 651, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 11 Jul 2005.
    2. Dairo Estrada & Daniel Osorio, 2006. "A Market Risk Approach to Liquidity Risk and Financial Contagion," Revista Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 24(50), pages 242-271, June.
    3. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite & Larry Samuelson, 2004. "Sunk Investments Lead to Unpredictable Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 896-918, September.
    4. Shirley HO, 2004. "Evolutionary Forces in a Banking System with Speculation and System Risk," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 692, Econometric Society.
    5. Iman van Lelyveld & Franka Liedorp, 2006. "Interbank Contagion in the Dutch Banking Sector: A Sensitivity Analysis," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(2), May.
    6. George J.Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite & Larry Samuelson, 2003. "Sunk Investments Lead to Unpredictable Prices (Second Version)," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-007, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 30 Jan 2004.
    7. Filippo Taddei, 2007. "Liquidity and the Allocation of Credit: Business Cycle, Government Debt and Financial Arrangements," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 65, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    8. Guillaume Plantin & Haresh Sapra & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Fair Value Reporting Standards and Market Volatility," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/70ur20flu79, Sciences Po.
    9. Charles W. Calomiris, 2007. "Bank Failures in Theory and History: The Great Depression and Other "Contagious" Events," NBER Working Papers 13597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

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