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Optimal debt contracts and moral hazard along the business cycle

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  • Pietro Reichlin

    ()

  • Paolo Siconolfi

Abstract

We analyze the Pareto optimal contracts between lenders and borrowers in a model with asymmetric information. The model generalizes the Rothschild-Stiglitz pure adverse selection problem by including moral hazard. Entrepreneurs with unequal “abilities” borrow to finance alternative investment projects which differ in degree of risk and productivity. We determine the endogenous distribution of projects as functions of the amount of loanable funds, when lenders have no information about borrowers’ ability and technological choices. Then, we embed these results in a dynamic competitive economy and show that the average quality of the selected projects in equilibrium may be high in recessions and low in booms. This phenomenon may generate (a) multiple steady states, (b) a smaller impact of exogenous shocks on output relative to the full information case, (c) endogenous fluctuations. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2004

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 24 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (07)
Pages: 75-109

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:24:y:2004:i:1:p:75-109

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Keywords: Financial intermediation; Asymmetric information; Business cycle.;

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References

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  1. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  2. Suarez, Javier & Sussman, Oren, 1997. "Endogenous Cycles in a Stiglitz-Weiss Economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 47-71, September.
  3. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1994. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1350-68, December.
  4. Bester, Helmut, 1987. "The role of collateral in credit markets with imperfect information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 887-899, June.
  5. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pietro Reichlin & Paolo Siconolfi, 1998. "Adverse Selection of Investment Projects and the Business Cycle," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 326, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  8. Boyd, J.h. & Smith, B.D., 1991. "The Equilibrium Allocation of Investment Capital in the Presence of Adverse Selection and Costly State Verification," RCER Working Papers 289, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Attar, Andrea & Campioni, Eloisa, 2003. "Costly state verification and debt contracts: a critical resume," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 315-343, December.
  2. Gunnar Bårdsen & Kjersti-Gro Lindquist & Dimitrios P. Tsomocos, 2006. "Evaluation of macroeconomic models for financial stability analysis," Working Paper 2006/01, Norges Bank.
  3. Alberto Martin & Filippo Taddei, 2012. "International Capital Flows and Credit Market Imperfections: a Tale of Two Frictions," Working Papers 518, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Alberto Martin, 2004. "Endogenous credit cycles," Economics Working Papers 916, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2008.
  5. Nicolás Figueroa & Oksana Leukhina, 2009. "Information Asymmetries and an Endogenous Productivity Reversion Mechanism," Documentos de Trabajo 264, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  6. Alberto Martin, 2009. "A model of collateral, investment and adverse selection," Economics Working Papers 1136, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Azariadis, Costas & Choi, Kyoung Jin, 2013. "Credit crunches as markov equilibria," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 2-11.
  8. ATTAR, Andréa, 2003. "Financial contracting along the business cycle," CORE Discussion Papers 2003069, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Filippo Taddei, 2013. "International Capital Flows, Financial Frictions and Welfare," 2013 Meeting Papers 1160, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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