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We explore how the introduction of explicit deposit insurance affects deposit flows into and out of banks of varying risk levels. Using evidence from a natural experiment in Russia, we employ a difference-in-difference estimator to isolate the change in the deposit flows of the newly insured group (i.e., households) relative to the uninsured control group (i.e., firms), thus improving upon prior studies that have sought to identify the effect of deposit insurance on market discipline. We find that the relative sensitivity of household deposits to bank capitalization diminished markedly after the introduction of an insurance program covering their deposits but not those of firms. The finding, we demonstrate, is not an artifact of the two groups responding differently to a banking crisis that occurred in Russia at roughly the same time.

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William Pyle

Alexei Karas

Koen Schoors

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