Banking-on-the-Average Rules

CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich, Working Paper No. 09/107

22 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2009

See all articles by Hans Gersbach

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Volker Hahn

University of Konstanz

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 1, 2009

Abstract

In this paper, we argue for a regulatory framework under which a bank's required level of equity capital depends on the equity capital of its peers. Such banking-on-the-average rules are transparent and could also be combined with the current regulatory framework. In addition, we argue that banking-on-the-average rules ensure the build-up of bank equity capitals in booms and thus avoid excessive leverage. Prudent banks can impose prudency on other banks. In a simple model of a banking system, we show that a banking-on-the-average framework can deliver the socially optimal solution because it induces banks to abstain from gambling. Moreover, it alleviates socially harmful consequences of conventional equity-capital rules, which may induce banks to excessively cut back on lending or liquidate desirable long-term investment projects in downturns.

Keywords: banking on the average, equity-capital requirements, banking system, banking crisis

JEL Classification: G21, G28

Suggested Citation

Gersbach, Hans and Hahn, Volker, Banking-on-the-Average Rules (March 1, 2009). CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich, Working Paper No. 09/107. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1370992 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1370992

Hans Gersbach (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 82 80 (Phone)
+41 44 632 18 30 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Volker Hahn

University of Konstanz ( email )

Box 143
Konstanz, 78457
Germany

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