There has been little empirical work on the effectiveness of safety nets designed for banks, for lack of data on safety net design across countries. The authors examine cross-country data on bank-level interest expense and deposit growth for evidence of market discipline in individual countries. In addition, using cross-country information on deposit insurance systems, they investigate the impact of explicit deposit insurance (and its key features) on bank interest rates and market discipline. They find that: 1) Many countries retain some degree of market discipline, regardless of the type of safety net. 2) The existence of explicit deposit insurance lowers banks'interest expenses and makes interest payments less sensitive to bank risk factors, especially bank liquidity. 3) Higher explicit coverage, broader coverage, and the existence of an earmarked insurance fund increase required-deposit rates and reduce market discipline. 4) Private (especially joint) management of insurance schemes lowers deposit rates and improves market discipline.
An important question is whether the financial safety net reduces market discipline on bank risk taking. For countries with varying deposit insurance schemes, we find that deposit rates continue to reflect bank riskiness. Cross-country evidence suggests that explicit deposit insurance reduces required deposit interest rates at a cost of reduced market discipline. Internationally, deposit insurance schemes vary widely in their coverage, funding, and management. Hence, there are widely differing views on how deposit insurance should optimally be structured. To inform this debate, we use a newly constructed data set of deposit insurance design features to examine how different design features affect deposit interest rates and market discipline.
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