The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The correlation bias refers to the fact that claim subordination in the capital structure of the firm influences claim holders' preferred degree of asset correlation in portfolios held by the firm. Using the copula capital structure model, it is shown that the correlation bias shifts shareholder preferences towards highly correlated assets, making financial institutions more prone to fail and increasing systemic risk given interconnectedness in the financial system. The implications for systemic risk and prudential regulation are assessed under the prism of Basel III, and potential solutions involving changes to the prudential framework and corporate governance are suggested.