A "sunspot" is a variable that has no direct impact on the economy’s fundamental condition, such as preferences, endowments or technologies, but may nonetheless affect economic outcomes through the expectations channel as a coordination device. This paper investigates how people react to sunspots in the context of a bank-run game in a controlled laboratory environment.
This paper shows that banks that rely heavily on short-term funding engage less in maturity transformation in an attempt to decrease their exposure to rollover risk. These banks shorten both the maturity of their portfolio of loans as well as the maturity of newly issued loans. We find that the loan yield curve becomes steeper with banks’ increasing use of short-term funding.