Adverse Impacts of Regulatory Reforms and Policy Remedies: Theory and Evidence

73 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2020 Last revised: 19 Jan 2021

See all articles by Ruo Jia

Ruo Jia

Department of Risk Management and Insurance, School of Economics, Peking University

Zenan Wu

School of Economics, Peking Univeristy

Yulong Zhao

China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission

Date Written: January 19, 2021

Abstract

We develop a portfolio-choice model to investigate how regulatory reforms influence the risk-taking behavior of financial institutions with different capital adequacy levels. The model predicts that either all firms reduce their risk-taking, or there exists a capital-adequacy threshold below which risk-taking increases as regulation becomes more stringent. The Chinese insurance solvency regulatory reform provides a unique natural experiment to test our theory. In 2015, each insurer reported two solvency ratios under the original and the new regulatory systems. The difference between them produces an exogenous and insurer-specific measure of the regulatory pressure shock. Consistent with our theoretical predictions, we find that increasing regulatory pressure induces greater risk-taking for less capital-adequate insurers, of which the regulator should want to reduce risk-taking mostly. We show that increasing the penalties of insolvency, increasing the risk sensitivity of capital requirements, and reinforcing the qualitative risk assessment are effective policy remedies for this backfiring problem.

Keywords: Risk-Taking; Capital Requirements; Solvency Regulation; Portfolio Choice; Insurance

JEL Classification: G22, G28, L51

Suggested Citation

Jia, Ruo and Wu, Zenan and Zhao, Yulong, Adverse Impacts of Regulatory Reforms and Policy Remedies: Theory and Evidence (January 19, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3527940 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3527940

Ruo Jia (Contact Author)

Department of Risk Management and Insurance, School of Economics, Peking University ( email )

Yiheyuan Rd. 5
Haidian
Beijing, 100871
China

Zenan Wu

School of Economics, Peking Univeristy ( email )

School of Economics, Peking Univeristy
5 Yiheyuan Road, Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China
+86-10-6275-6051 (Phone)

Yulong Zhao

China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission ( email )

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