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We show how banks' excessive risk-taking, stemming from informational asymmetries in loan markets, can lead to an excessive output loss when a recession starts. Risk-based capital requirements can alleviate the output loss by reducing excessive risk-taking in 'normal' times. Model simulations suggest that the differentiation of risk-weights in the Basel framework might be further increased in order to take full advantage of the allocational effects of capital requirements. Our analysis alsodoi:10.2139/ssrn.1755090 fatcat:sr5fddh7iff3hh7eprkdpuowcu