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Capital Regulation and Tail Risk

48 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2011 Last revised: 6 Oct 2011

Enrico C. Perotti

University of Amsterdam - Finance Group; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Tinbergen Institute

Lev Ratnovski

International Monetary Fund

Razvan Vlahu

De Nederlandsche Bank; De Nederlandsche Bank

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 30, 2011


The paper studies risk mitigation associated with capital regulation, in a context where banks may choose tail risk assets. We show that this undermines the traditional result that higher capital reduces excess risk-taking driven by limited liability. Moreover, higher capital may have an unintended effect of enabling banks to take more tail risk without the fear of breaching the minimal capital ratio in non-tail risky project realizations. The results are consistent with stylized facts about pre-crisis bank behavior, and suggest implications for the optimal design of capital regulation.

Keywords: Banking, Capital Regulation, Risk-Taking, Tail Risk, Systemic Risk

JEL Classification: G21, G28

Suggested Citation

Perotti, Enrico C. and Ratnovski, Lev and Vlahu, Razvan, Capital Regulation and Tail Risk (July 30, 2011). 24th Australasian Finance and Banking Conference 2011 Paper. Available at SSRN: or

Enrico C. Perotti

University of Amsterdam - Finance Group ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
+31 20 525 4159 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5285 (Fax)


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS

Lev Ratnovski (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States
+1 202 623 8213 (Phone)


Razvan Vlahu

De Nederlandsche Bank ( email )

P.O. Box 98
Amsterdam, 1000 AB
+31205242483 (Phone)
+31205242506 (Fax)

De Nederlandsche Bank ( email )

PO Box 98
1000 AB Amsterdam
Amsterdam, 1000 AB

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