Does Increased Shareholder Liability Always Reduce Bank Moral Hazard?
64 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2017 Last revised: 5 Aug 2020
Date Written: September 15, 2019
Scholars and regulators often maintain that extended shareholder liability reduces bank risk-taking. Prior to the Great Depression, double liability on bank shareholders was the predominant institutional framework aimed to constrain moral hazard. We examine whether increased shareholder liability effectively moderated bank risk-taking. We find no evidence that double liability reduced risk-taking prior to the Great Depression, but do find evidence that deposits in double liability banks were stickier during the Great Depression, suggesting double-liability banks faced less risk of bank runs. Shifting losses from depositors to shareholders weakened market discipline and attenuated the effects of increased skin in the game.
Keywords: Double Liability, Moral Hazard, Market Discipline, Bank Runs, Great Depression
JEL Classification: G21, G28, N22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation