To bail-out or to bail-in? Answers from an agent-based model
Klimek, Peter; Poledna, Sebastian; Farmer, J. Doyne; Thurner, Stefan
- Since beginning of the 2008 financial crisis almost half a trillion euros have been spent to financially assist EU member states in taxpayer-funded bail-outs. These crisis resolutions are often accompanied by austerity programs causing political and social friction on both domestic and international levels. The question of how to resolve failing financial institutions under which economic preconditions is therefore a pressing and controversial issue of vast political importance. In this work we employ an agent-based model to study the economic and financial ramifications of three highly relevant crisis resolution mechanisms. To establish the validity of the model we show that it reproduces a series of key stylized facts if the financial and real economy. The distressed institution can either be closed via a purchase & assumption transaction, it can be bailed-out using taxpayer money, or it may be bailed-in in a debt-to-equity conversion. We find that for an economy characterized by low unemployment and high productivity the optimal crisis resolution with respect to financial stability and economic productivity is to close the distressed institution. For economies in recession with high unemployment the bail-in tool provides the most efficient crisis resolution mechanism. Under no circumstances do taxpayer-funded bail-out schemes outperform bail-ins with private sector involvement.
- Research areas:
- Type of Publication:
- Agent-based model; Bail-in; Bail-out; Crisis resolution
- Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control