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Limited liability and the development of capital markets
We study the consequences of the introduction of widespread limited liability for corporations. In the traditional view, limited liability reduces transactions costs and enhances investment incentives for individuals and firms. But this view does not explain several important stylized facts of the British experience, including the slow rate of adoption of limited liability by firms in the years following legal reforms. We construct an alternative model that accounts for this and other features of the nineteenth century British experience. In the model, project risk is private information, and ...
Optimal Bank Regulation in the Presence of Credit and Run Risk
We modify the Diamond and Dybvig (1983) model of banking to jointly study various regulations in the presence of credit and run risk. Banks choose between liquid and illiquid assets on the asset side, and between deposits and equity on the liability side. The endogenously determined asset portfolio and capital structure interact to support credit extension, as well as to provide liquidity and risk-sharing services to the real economy. Our modifications create wedges in the asset and liability mix between the private equilibrium and a social planner's equilibrium. Correcting these distortions ...