Armen Hovakimian

Department of Economics and Finance
Baruch College Zicklin School of Business
1 Bernard Baruch Way
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 646-312-3490
Fax: 646-312-3451

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Baruch College/CUNY

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2012Tracking Variation in Systemic Risk at US Banks During 1974-2013
with Edward J. Kane, Luc Laeven: w18043
This paper proposes a theoretically based and easy-to-implement way to measure the systemic risk of financial institutions using publicly available accounting and stock market data. The measure models the credit enhancement taxpayers provide to individual banks in the Merton tradition (1974) as a combination put option for the deep tail of bank losses and a knock-in stop-loss call on bank assets. This model expresses the value of taxpayer loss exposure from a string of defaults as the value of this combination option written on the portfolio of industry assets. The exercise price of the call is the face value of the debt of the entire sector. We conceive of an individual bank’s systemic risk as its contribution to the value of this sector-wide option on the financial safety net. To the ext...
August 2011Are Corporate Default Probabilities Consistent with the Static Tradeoff Theory?
with Ayla Kayhan, Sheridan Titman: w17290
Default probability plays a central role in the static tradeoff theory of capital structure. We directly test this theory by regressing the probability of default on proxies for costs and benefits of debt. Contrary to predictions of the theory, firms with higher bankruptcy costs, i.e., smaller firms and firms with lower asset tangibility, choose capital structures with higher bankruptcy risk. Further analysis suggests that the capital structures of smaller firms with lower asset tangibility, which tend to have less access to capital markets, are more sensitive to negative profitability and equity value shocks, making them more susceptible to bankruptcy risk.

Published: Armen Hovakimian & Ayla Kayhan & Sheridan Titman, 2012. "Are Corporate Default Probabilities Consistent with the Static Trade-off Theory?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 315-340. citation courtesy of

November 2002How Country and Safety-Net Characteristics Affect Bank Risk-Shifting
with Edward J. Kane, Luc Laeven: w9322
Risk-shifting occurs when creditors or guarantors are exposed to loss without receiving adequate compensation. This paper seeks to measure and compare how well authorities in 56 countries controlled bank risk shifting during the 1990s. Although significant risk shifting occurs on average, substantial variation exists in the effectiveness of risk control across countries. We find that the tendency for explicit deposit insurance to exacerbate risk shifting is tempered by incorporating loss-control features such as risk-sensitive premiums, coverage limits, and coinsurance. Introducing explicit deposit insurance has had adverse effects in environments that are low in political and economic freedom and high in corruption.

Published: Hovakimian, Armen, Edward J. Kane and Luc Laeven. "How Country And Safety-Net Characteristics Affect Bank Risk-Shifting," Journal of Financial Services Research, 2003, v23(3,Jun), 177-204. citation courtesy of

August 1996Risk-Shifting by Federally Insured Commercial Banks
with Edward J. Kane: w5711
Mispriced and misadministered deposit insurance imparts risk-shifting incentives to U.S. banks. Regulators are expected to monitor and discipline increases in bank risk exposure that would transfer wealth from the FDIC to bank stockholders. This paper assesses the success regulators had in controlling risk-shifting by U.S. banks during 1985-1994. In contrast to single-equation estimates developed from the option model by others, our simultaneous-equation evidence indicates that regulators failed to prevent large U.S. banks from shifting risk to the FDIC. Moreover, at the margin, banks that are undercapitalized shifted risk more effectively than other sample banks.

Published: (Under new title: Changing Effectiveness of Capital Regulation at U.S. Commercial Banks, 1985-1994) Journal of Finance, Vol. 55 (February 2000): 451-461.

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