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The Risk Spiral: The Effects of Bank Capital and Diversification on Risk Taking

40 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2017 Last revised: 14 Sep 2017

Sharon Peleg Lazar

Tel Aviv University

Alon Raviv

Bar-Ilan University - Graduate School of Business Administration

Date Written: September 2017

Abstract

We present a model where bank assets are a portfolio of risky debt claims and analyze equityholders' risk-taking behavior while considering the strategic interaction between debtors and creditors. We find that: (1) as the leverage of a bank increases, risk shifting by borrowers increases, even if their leverage is unchanged (zombie lending). (2) While the literature demonstrates that an increase in co-movement of a loan portfolio increases the bank's cost of default directly, we find that the increase prevails through a second channel: an increase in risk shifting. (3) Risk shifting decreases with the diversification of a loan portfolio.

Keywords: Risk taking, Banks, Co-movements, Deposit insurance, Zombie lending

JEL Classification: G21, G28, G32, G38

Suggested Citation

Peleg Lazar, Sharon and Raviv, Alon, The Risk Spiral: The Effects of Bank Capital and Diversification on Risk Taking (September 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2921542 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2921542

Sharon Peleg Lazar

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Tel Aviv
Israel

Alon Raviv (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Graduate School of Business Administration ( email )

The Graduate School of Business Administration
Ana and Max Web st
Ramat Gan
Israel

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