My criticism of the Diamond-Dybvig model

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I think I forgot to mention this when they won the Nobel Prize.  In their model of bank runs, there are multiple equilibria and people can run on the bank simply if they expect other depositors will run on the bank too.  The combination of liquid liabilities and illiquid assets then means the bank cannot meet all their claims.  That is logically consistent, but I think not realistic.  Virtually all the bank runs I know of stem from insolvency, not rumors, noise, and multiple equilibria.  Didn’t Hugh Rockoff do some papers showing that the “free banking era” bank runs were pretty rational in the sense that the depositors targeted the right institutions?  Or did someone other than Rockoff do this work?  In any case, I’ve long thought that bank run models based on insolvency are more useful than bank run models based on rumors and multiple equilibria.

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