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Monetary Policy, Business Cycles, and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms

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  • Gertler, Mark
  • Gilchrist, Simon

Abstract

The authors analyze the response of small versus large manufacturing firms to monetary policy. The goal is to obtain evidence on the importance of financial propagation mechanisms for aggregate activity. The authors find that small firms account for a significantly disproportionate share of the manufacturing decline that follows tightening of monetary policy. They play a surprisingly prominent role in the slowdown of inventory demand. Large firms initially borrow to accumulate inventories. After a brief period, small firms quickly shed inventories. The authors attempt to sort financial from nonfinancial explanations with evidence on asymmetries and on balance sheet effects on inventory demand across size classes. Copyright 1994, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 109 (1994)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 309-40

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:2:p:309-40

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  1. Calomiris, Charles W & Hubbard, R Glenn, 1990. "Firm Heterogeneity, Internal Finance, and 'Credit Rationing.'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 90-104, March.
  2. Ramey, Valerie A., 1992. "The source of fluctuations in money : Evidence from trade credit," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 171-193, November.
  3. Romer, Christina D. & Romer, David H., 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5h07k8vf, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Anil K. Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein & David W. Wilcox, 1991. "Monetary policy and credit conditions: evidence from the composition of external finance," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 154, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  7. Christopher A. Sims, 1980. "Comparison of Interwar and Postwar Business Cycles: Monetarism Reconsidered," NBER Working Papers 0430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1990. "New Evidence on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 149-214.
  9. Ben Bernanke, 1990. "On the Predictive Power of Interest Rates and Interest Rate Spreads," NBER Working Papers 3486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  11. Farmer, Roger E A, 1985. "Implicit Contracts with Asymmetric Information and Bankruptcy: The Effect of Interest Rates on Layoffs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 427-42, July.
  12. Blinder, Alan S & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1983. "Money, Credit Constraints, and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 297-302, May.
  13. Mills, David E & Schumann, Laurence, 1985. "Industry Structure with Fluctuating Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 758-67, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Ben Bernanke, 1990. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission," NBER Working Papers 3487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  17. Fuerst, Timothy S., 1992. "Liquidity, loanable funds, and real activity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 3-24, February.
  18. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Williamson, Stephen D, 1987. "Financial Intermediation, Business Failures, and Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1196-1216, December.
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