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Economic and Regulatory Capital What is the Difference ?

The determinants of regulatory capital (the minimum required by
regulation) and economic capital (the capital that shareholders would
choose in absence of regulation) in the context of the single risk
factor model that underlies the New Basel Capital Accord (Basel II)
do not depend on the same set of variables and do not react in the
same way to changes in their common determinants.

For plausible parameter values, they are both increasing in the
loans’ probability of default and loss given default, but variables
that affect economic but not regulatory capital, such as the
intermediation margin and the cost of capital, can move them
significantly apart. The results also show that market discipline,
proxied by the coverage of deposit insurance, increases economic
capital, although the effect is generally small.

Abel Elizalde of CEMFI and UPNA, and
Rafael Repullo of CEMFI and CEPR

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