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Do social networks prevent or promote bank runs?

Hubert Janos Kiss, Ismael Rodriguez-Lara and Alfonso Rosa-García ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2014, vol. 101, issue C, 87-99

Abstract: We report experimental evidence on the effect of observability of actions on bank runs. We model depositors’ decision-making in a sequential framework, with three depositors located at the nodes of a network. Depositors observe the other depositors’ actions only if connected by the network. Theoretically, a sufficient condition to prevent bank runs is that the second depositor to act is able to observe the first one's action (no matter what is observed). Experimentally, we find that observability of actions affects the likelihood of bank runs, but depositors’ choice is highly influenced by the particular action that is being observed. Depositors who are observed by others at the beginning of the line are more likely to keep their money deposited, leading to less bank runs. When withdrawals are observed, bank runs are more likely even when the mere observation of actions should prevent them.

Keywords: Bank runs; Social networks; Coordination failures; Experimental evidence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C70 C91 D80 D85 G21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:101:y:2014:i:c:p:87-99

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.01.019

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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