Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Institutional Clash and Financial Fragility. An Evolutionary Model of Banking Crises

Knutsen, Sverre and Sjögren, Hans (2009): Institutional Clash and Financial Fragility. An Evolutionary Model of Banking Crises.

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Abstract

There are mainly two types of theories explaining banking crisis, emanating from the monetarist school respectively institutional economics. Using an allegory, monetarists are discussing how much water in terms of liquidity that is needed to stop a fire escalating into a disaster, while institutionalists are occupied with the causes of the fire. Our study rejects the explanatory value of the monetarist view, but also criticizes the Kindleberger-Minsky model for not taking the legalisation and the sanctions in the hands of the authorities into account. We consider the institutional factor as a decisive part in the understanding of systemic risk and the process towards increasing debt in non-financial sectors and introduce the concept institutional clash. Not every recession has caused a banking crisis. But all banking crises have been preceded by an institutional clash. Consequently, an institutional clash is a prerequisite but not sufficient to cause a banking crisis: there must be a recession for a crisis to emerge. We also launch a stage-model for the evolution of banking crises. The stages in that model highlight decisive factors before, under and after a crisis. Our model has the capability to explain the occurrence of crises in a re-regulated economy. However, we only give few examples from Nordic banking crises how our model could be applied. Thus, the article is explorative. It is natural to make further empirical observation in order get a solid theory of driving forces behind banking crisis. The next step would be to empirically integrate all the Nordic banking crises between 1850 and 2000 in our analysis.

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